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Published: Tuesday December 31, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday December 31, 2013 MYT 10:44:00 AM

1,165 accounts still on bulk meters

Huge one: A bulk meter used in a condominum or apartment. — filepic

Huge one: A bulk meter used in a condominum or apartment. — filepic

METER migration from bulk to individual is crucial to the Selangor government’s promise of providing 20 cubic metres of water free to its residents.

Many residents staying in apartments and condominiums are unhappy that they have not been able to enjoy the free water benefit.

Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) has been carrying out the programme in stages from May 2007.

Syabas’ corporate communications and public affairs assistant general manager Priscilla Alfred said, there are still 1,165 bulk meter accounts for residential areas that have yet to transfer to individual meters.

“As of November, 1,404 bulk meter accounts for residential areas under Tariff Code 17 and 18 have applied for migration to individual meters (Tariff Code 10), with 599 of these accounts having completed the process,” said Priscilla.

The transfer has allowed 123,928 new individual accounts to be created.

“The free 20 cubic metres is dependent on each household having an individual meter,” Priscilla said.

Bulk meters, which are found mainly in multi-storey residential buildings, do not measure the amount of water used by each household, leading to overuse by some and generating an overall higher bill for all involved.

Moreover, for strata properties where their Joint Management Bodies (JMBs) are experiencing internal disputes, the non-payment of bills is often an issue.

“Because Syabas’ contract is with the JMB, they can choose not to pay the water bill and we will shut the supply off, which is obviously unfair to residents,” Priscilla said.

Bulk accounts can often be abused with some individuals making money from the margins between charging residents for their bulk supply and paying Syabas on time.

“One person has been doing it for 35 years to about 300 residents in the Seputeh area. Upon discovery, legal process was initiated,” said Priscilla.

Currently, the concessionaire is also looking into similar cases in other parts of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

Syabas has listed the steps to apply for meter migration on its website.

JMBs and building management committees (MCs) can request for the application forms (SYA/M1/1 and SYA/M2/1) from the Migration Section at Syabas’ headquarters.

After which, the company will run technical inspections on the residential premises as well as checks on payment records before giving approval for individual meter account applications.

Syabas will only activate individual meters in the building after receiving 100% consent from the individual unit owners to join the migration programme.

The programme has not been without hiccups.

“A total of 60% of the applicants are not successful because of technical difficulties, such as internal piping problems and serious leakage which have not been resolved by the JMB/MC,” said Priscilla.

More importantly, is the failure to obtain at least 80% consent from the unit owners.

“In some cases, the JMB/MC itself is reluctantly participating in the programme, as this means they will lose the power to force individual users to pay maintenance fees,” she added.

Tags / Keywords: Utilities, Community, Central Region, Syabas; bulk meter migration;

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