Over to you Chairmen, CEB and National Water Supply and Drainage
The proposal of the Minister of Public Administration and Home
Affairs to introduce and implement a Citizens Charter in order to uplift
the prevailing deteriorated corrupt public service and to prevent the
bureaucrats to work and discharge duties according to their wishes is
definitely a wonderful move in order to offer the suffering masses'
The Citizens Charter is a document where the employees' role to the
public, particularly the manner in which to offer the services is
clearly defined. However, to achieve this objective which is a long felt
need, the latest modern technology should be implemented.
In this country, similar to the usage of a mobile phone by the
majority, credit cards which are world renowned issued by banks and
reputed institutions are also used by many as a mode of payment for
bills/purchases etc. With the introduction of credit cards over two
decades ago, most people do their money transactions through them, which
is very convenient rather than carrying physical cash along with them.
There is absolutely no doubt that the highest number of bills paid to
a single Government institution by individuals, institutions, companies
is to the Ceylon Electricity Board. The clients who are compelled to pay
the electricity bill on a monthly basis and as the amount of the bill
varies, one cannot place a standing order with the bank.
Hence, a personal visit has to be made by each subscriber to a
payment centre of the Ceylon Electricity Board. Of course, now many
banks and post offices do accept payments for bills. The payments
however have to be made by cash and there too, payments are not accepted
by credit cards.
These payments take a considerable length of time to be credited to
the respective accounts of the millions of subscribers. Those amounts
paid do not reflect in the following month's bill and invariably the
amount paid is added on as arrears making the subscriber worried.
Although credit cards are not accepted, the bills of the Ceylon
Electricity Board and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board could
be paid by personal or official cheques drawn in favour of the
respective statutory institutions.
A certain percentage of such cheques are bound to get dishonoured for
lack of funds or for technical reasons such as, 'cheque post dated',
'drawers signature differs from the specimen in our possession',
'account not stated', etc.
There is definitely a risk factor involved in recovery of the
payments due to these Statutory Institutions. The members of the staff
handling the work of dishonoured cheques and follow up will have to
devote valuable time to resolve these matters.
But on the other hand, if the payments are accepted via credit cards,
it is just like paying physical cash. The bank charges for obtaining
immediate credit for the credit card payment vouchers could easily be
exempted in consultation with the respective credit card dealers, banks
or credit card institutions.
So, why not the authorities of the Ceylon Electricity Board and the
National Water Supply and Drainage Board commence the exercise of
accepting the subscribers' credit cards which would benefit them as well
as millions of subscribers scattered islandwide.
The credit card holders would benefit by this exercise mainly for the
sake of convenience and the respective cards they use would have more
transactions, thereby the approved credit limits would automatically
enhanced through a system certain multinational banks adopt.
It is surprising why these two institutions do not accept the world
renowned credit cards for settlement of bills of the subscribers.
At Sri Lanka Telecom this facility is available not only at Regional
Telecommunication Centres, but also at the Tele shops.
It is time that this globally accepted norm of accepting credit cards
at the Ceylon Electricity Board and the National Water Supply and
Drainage Board commence this exercise immediately for the benefit of the
respective statutory bodies and the millions of subscribers who are
holders of prestigious credit cards.
SUNIL THENABADU, Mount Lavinia
Over to you Chairman, Panadura UC
I happened to visit a house along 7th Cross Road in Panadura
This road which is maintained by the Panadura Urban Council is full
of pot-holes and is filled with muddy water, after a heavy shower.
Pedestrians have to undergo great difficulty in going along this
road, as muddy water gets splashed on to their clothes when vehicles
pass them, without any concern.
The most surprising and disgusting thing along this road are the
The residents living along this road have to bear up the pungent
smell emanating from the side drains.
I observed that the drain on one side is not cut properly, so that
waste water could flow evenly.
These drains are ideal breeding grounds for dengue and filaria
The local authority PHI should visit this place immediately and get
the UC works branch staff to clean this drain, so that the stagnant
waste water could flow evenly to the main drain and avoid a dengue
epidemic among residents living along this road. Also there is a girls'
school adjoining this road.
LIONEL LEANAGE, Ambalangoda