Water supply not be disconnected in ramadan in Oman: APSR

Muscat: The Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR) issued a new decision to not cut off water services to subscribers during the month of Ramadan, or on the last day before weekends and official holidays.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Authority for Public Services Regulation issued Decision No. 8/2023 out of consideration of the interests of subscribers of water supply services, treated water, and the collection and transportation of sewage water from them.

The decision took into account that services would not be cut on the last day before the weekend and official holidays, and that the service be cut off between 7 AM and 5 PM. It is not permissible to cut off the service for subscribers from the residential category during the month of Ramadan.

Additionally, the decision specified the details of the service cut-off procedure. This includes submitting a notice to cut off the service at least 10 days before the date of the plan, and according to five cases, including the subscriber’s failure to pay financial dues, late financial dues, or using the service for a purpose other than that indicated in the connection request.

The decision also specified cases of returning the service to subscribers from the residential category for the meter that has the smart valve feature within 3 hours, and 6 hours for subscribers who do not have the smart feature, in the case of paying a quarter or half of the amount and paying it in installments over specific periods.

Furthermore, the decision stipulates that it is not permitted to issue an invoice with an estimated reading for more than two consecutive months. Estimated invoices can be issued in the event of an obstacle that prevents the service provider from taking the actual reading.

In its second article, the decision included the cancellation of Articles No. 27 and 27 of Chapter Five of the Drinking Water Service Regulation issued by Resolution No. 6/2019.

The new decision includes 31 articles in 6 chapters. The first chapter deals with tariffs, the second with the service provider’s obligations, the third with subscribers’ complaints, the fourth with service disconnection procedures, the fifth with bills and meters, and the sixth with administrative penalties.

In the subscriber’s complaints chapter, the service provider is obligated to prepare specific forms for each type of common complaint, and to make them available to subscribers.

Subscribers may file a complaint against the Service Provider in the event of dispute, malfunction, damage or dissatisfaction. The service provider must register any complaint it receives.

According to the decision, the service provider may not terminate or close the subject of the complaint, except after submitting a written response to the complainant by any means. In the event of an error in reading the meter or in calculating the bills, the service provider is obligated to correct the error and recalculate the bills correctly.

As for the two articles that the new decision stipulated to be deleted from the regulation of the drinking water service, they allowed the subscriber to file a complaint with an Authority (the Public Authority for Water) that was abolished. In addition, the new decision did not include a reference to the possibility of the subscriber submitting a complaint to the Public Services Regulatory Authority (issuing the decision) in the event of delay or failure of the water service provider to deal with it.

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