Consumer panel orders provision of water connection
CHENNAI: The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed the Assistant Director of Rural Development, Coimbatore and the Additional Block Development Officer, Thondamuthur, to ensure that a resident got water connection from a borewell in his layout.
Disposing of an appeal by a resident of Kurinjinagar, Coimbatore, challenging an order of a district forum which dismissed his complaint, the Commission Bench comprising Justice K. Sampath, president, and Pon. Gunasekaran, Member, said the complainant had made it clear he did not ask for protected water supply from the panchayat. The District Forum misunderstood his grievance.
K. Rajan complained to the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF), Coimbatore, that he purchased a site at Kurinji Nagar in 1996. After a particular stage, the promoter handed over the common facilities to the panchayat under a registered gift deed with a condition that water facilities should be continued to the residents. The complainant said he approached the panchayat for providing drinking water facility, but in vain. He completed the house construction in 1996 itself. The Collector forwarded his complaint to the Assistant Director of Rural Development (first opposite party), who in turn, directed the Additional BDO (second opposite party) to take immediate action. This was not complied with.
As the panchayat office-bearers were dismissed by the Collector on corruption charges, the Additional BDO was put in charge of panchayat affairs.
`No proper application'
The opposite parties submitted that the complainant completed the construction in 1999. He paid the tax only in September 1999. The Director of Block Development had issued an order in October 1999 restraining the opposite parties from giving new water connections. Later, the order was rescinded and 764 connections were given. But the complainant did not submit a proper application. Hence he was not provided connection.
The DCDRF dismissed the resident's complaint holding that he completed construction only in 1999, and that he had to apply for water connection, which would be considered and connection given as per seniority.
Challenging this order, the complainant preferred appeal.
In its order, the Commission said a document filed clearly proved that the complainant completed construction in 1996. He had paid for water connection for his site from the borewell and overhead tank provided by the layout promoter. The panchayat was duty-bound to maintain the borewell and overhead tank and provide connection to the complainant, the Commission said.
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