Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Individual meters for apartments - The Star

May 14, 2008 By ELAN PERUMAL

GOOD news awaits high-rise dwellers in Selangor with the state government moving towards making it compulsory for the switching of all bulk water meters to individual ones.

The move is aimed at reducing the misery of the high-rise dwellers who are paying a lot more for water, compared with those residing in landed properties.

The issue will be on the agenda of the weekly Selangor State Executive Council meeting today.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who is said to be in favour of the proposal, is expected to make the announcement after the meeting.

Iskandar: The high-rise dwellers are now paying as high RM1.80 per cubic metre of water' State housing committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad confirmed that the proposal would be tabled at the exco meeting.

Iskandar said from the feedback the state had obtained it was time to switch bulk meters to individual ones.

According to Iskandar, the issue has dragged on too long.

He said now was the appropriate time to resolve the matter since the state government had announced that it was providing 20 cubic of water free to every household in Selangor.

“Dwellers of high-rise buildings have been crying foul for many years for having to pay excess charges for the use of water compared with those residing on landed properties,” he said.

“High-rise dwellers are now paying as high as RM1.80 per cubic metre of water, compared with only 57 sen paid by those in landed homes. They feel that they had been victimised,” Iskandar said.

“The situation is surely unfair for those staying in the low-cost flats as they are paying more for water then those in the higher income bracket,'' he said.

Iskandar is confident that the proposal would be approved by the state exco as the Pakatan Rakyat government's priority is to provide the best service for the people.

He said making individual meters mandatory for high-rise buildings would help relieve the financial burden of hundreds of thousands of high-rise dwellers.

“What the state government needs to do immediately is to amend the bylaw so that the meters can be switched from bulk to individual without any legal hassle,” Iskandar said.

“Currently, the law requires us to get 100% nod from owners of high-rise buildings before the individual meter ruling can be imposed,'' he said,

Iskandar said while most owners wanted individual meters, there were a few who might not agree due to various reasons.

He said most of these people had arrears in their water bills and the fact that they were required to settle the bills before switching to individual meters had prevented them from giving their approval.

“It is most unfortunate that this handful of owners are hindering the majority of other residents.

“We hope to come up with a solution to solve this issue,'' he said.

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