Buriram residents bewildered by backdated water bills up to 9 years old

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod.

In Thailand’s northeast province of Buriram, inhabitants of Ban Dan district are left in confusion as they are being billed for water usage dating back six to nine years. Appearing across each village, these bills have sparked controversy, with municipality staff explaining that the payment must be collected.

The complaints escalated as residents within the Ban Dan area, in some cases two to four from each village, and at worst 29 individuals, are being charged retrospectively. The amount levied varies significantly, from 4,000 to 15,000 baht (US$118 to US$440) for water consumption dating back to 2014.

Seventy-year-old Chomchuey Jayunram, a noodle vendor, expressed her bewilderment receiving a water bill summing over 10,000 baht (US$294), dating back to 2014. Her monthly water usage ranges between 50 and 150 baht (US$1.5 to US$4), and despite missing payments on some months, Chomchuey questioned the sudden accumulation. A bill collector visits regularly, sometimes offering receipts for payments made. However, why her water service wasn’t discontinued if the bills had remained unpaid remains unclear, reported KhaoSod.

Sharing a similar sentiment, residents 73 year old Yut Kongram and 62 year old Daragorn Changagram found themselves in similarly perplexing situations. They were presented with retrospective bills amounting to more than 10,000 baht and 3,000 baht respectively, despite making regular payments. These claims raised questions about the local billing system, as a resolution is deemed necessary to alleviate the residents’ predicaments.

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In defence, Ban Dan’s mayor, Veerawat Sathitpoonphan, stated that after assuming his role in late 2021, he discovered a vast amount of outstanding water bills.

After investigating the people who had not paid their water bills, he found that some relevant departments hired a private company to collect the water fee from people. He did not know whether the company handed the money to the district municipality or not because he had just been assigned to the position. However, the residents must pay the bill according to the law, with the option of instalment payments, he said.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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