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No water: This bold consumer in Kerala gets order to arrest KWA officer

Mariamma A K

Mariamma A K from Kerala is a bold, no-nonsense woman on a mission to fight against Kerala Water Authority (KWA) with “We don’t care attitude”. This 52-year-old from Kochi has secured an arrest warrant against a senior officer of the KWA who failed to ensure drinking water supply to her residence.

Mariamma could get the order to arrest an Assistant Executive Engineer of the KWA who failed to comply with an earlier court order which directed him to pay compensation to her for the mental anguish and hardship endured as a result of the authority’s failure to supply drinking water to her residence for over a year while still billing her for the non-existent water supply.

“The Kerala Water Authority and its officials continued with their scant regard for the order from the Ernakulam District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission which, on January 29, 2024, directed the KWA to take necessary steps to ensure water supply to my home and also compensate for the mental agony my family and I suffered. After waiting for nearly three months for a positive response from the KWA, I again approached the Commission with a petition seeking action,” Mariamma said.

Mariamma, an associate professor of law, says that she is not ready to give up her fight against the officials who continue to give scant regard to the law of the country that upholds equal rights for everyone. “I will fight till I get justice. This is a fight to prove that a consumer has a right to fair service. I have spend a lot of time and money fighting this case and I am determined to continue with the fight,” Mariamma told “Open Digest“.

The Commission, led by its president Advocate D B Binu, members V Ramachandran and Sreevidhia T N, directed the Thripunithura Police Station House Officer to arrest and produce the Assistant Executive Engineer before the Commission.

It was in December 2017 that Mariamma, an associate professor of law, relocated with her family from Kozhikode to Kochi in pursuit of a better life. They bought a house under construction at Pettah in Thripunithura.

Though she applied for a water connection and dutifully paid all requisite fees, they couldn’t get a proper water supply. They had to depend on tanker supply for water, and many times, they couldn’t cook and had to depend on food from hotels.

Despite relentless efforts and numerous appeals to the KWA, her pleas for water supply fell on deaf ears. To compound her anguish, the KWA shockingly issued exorbitant bills for the months during which she had not received a single drop of water. When she inquired with the KWA about the bill, the officials told her that she had signed several documents in which she had agreed to pay the minimum bill amount even if there was no water supply.

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