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Taps run dry due to unpaid bills

19/03/2009 The Star By Tho Xin Yi

OUTSTANDING water bills amounting to RM52,865.52 as of yesterday led to the disconnection of water supply at the Subang Permai Apartment in USJ 1.

The residents in the 260 units in the apartment found out that water stopped flowing through their pipes since about 11am on Tuesday.

A resident collecting water from the tap at the guard house.

Some were seen collecting water from a tap near the guard house on Wednesday morning.

Joint Management Body (JMB) chairman Joyce Lee said they do not have sufficient funds to settle the bills.

“When the JMB was formed last May, there was no collection from the residents in the first few months as we were still working out the details. It was then that the water bills accumulated,” she said.

The JMB has been paying the bills since July in installments upon an agreement with Syabas.

“We cannot afford to settle the full amount but we make sure that we pay a certain amount each month.

“The collection from the residents is always slightly below what we expect because not everyone pays,” Lee said.

According to her, major underground water leakage also contributed to the amount of the water bills.

“We found out that water meter readings did not tally with that on the bills. We checked and found at least five burst pipes.

“Clear water was gushing out into the drains and we quickly employed plumbers to fix the problem,” Lee said.

Besides the repair works, the JMB also forked out money from the account to replace faulty water meters for about 40 units.

“It cost us RM112 to replace one meter - RM92 for the meter and RM20 for the installation,” Lee said.

As a result of the water cut, some residents promptly settled their bills with the management yesterday morning.

The JMB has also reached an agreement with the residents to remove their water meters if they had not paid their water bills for more than three months.

“Those who are owing less than three months will be given two more weeks to pay up,” Lee said.

The JMB also paid another RM10,000 to Syabas yesterday, hoping that the water supply would be reconnected.

“As per our earlier conversation, a Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) officer demanded at least RM20,000 which we cannot afford. It is very inconsiderate of them as we are making an effort to pay up.

“I am very disappointed with their attitude - they didn’t bother to inform us when they cut off the supply on Tuesday even though our guards asked them to see us first at our management office,” Lee said.

Syabas corporate communications and public affairs general manager Abdul Halem Mat Som said Syabas would reconnect the water supply depending on the amount of money paid by the JMB to settle the outstanding amount.

“If the Syabas district office agrees to the amount, we will reconnect the water supply. The JMB would then have to pay the balance in installments in addition to the monthly bill,” he said.

Syabas has placed a water tank at the apartment carpark to supply water to the residents.

Condominium, Apartments and Highrise Committee member Peter Chong has promised to help the group by asking Syabas to reconnect the water supply. It is learnt that Syabas agreed to reconnect the water supply yesterday evening.


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