Thursday, July 15, 2010

Automatic machines for water bill payment soon

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran said here on Thursday that the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) would introduce automatic cash payment machines for consumers to remit their water bills.

Speaking after inaugurating the new e-payment and e-tendering systems of the KWA, he said the automatic payment machines would accept cash and issue a receipt for the payment. Modelled on the lines of automatic teller machines (ATMs), the machines would enable any time payment of bills. They would obviate the need for a credit card or a net banking account required for the e-payment system. The new facility would be introduced within three months, he said.

The Minister said the improved e-tendering system would help to eliminate corruption and speed up drinking water projects taken up by the KWA. �Contractors indulge in unhealthy practices, leading to corruption in the tendering process. The e-tendering system has an online payment facility for earnest money deposit. This will ensure confidentiality of the tender process. It is expected to help bona fide

contractors succeed in a bid and weed out unhealthy practices. The tender process can be limited to days instead of months, he said.

Mr. Premachandran said the government had decided to extend the e-tendering system to the Irrigation Department also. The computerisation of the KWA would be completed in a year, he said.

The Minister inaugurated the revised website of KWA. He also handed over the keys of four new vehicles acquired by the KWA for the Blue Brigade emergency response team.

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