– customer says not responsible since meter is not in yardA woman was asked to pay $125,000 to the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) for allegedly tampering with her water meter, an accusation she has since denied, claiming that the possibility exists that animals could have broken same.The meter that was allegedly tampered withThe water service was disconnected from the Lot 83 Plantation Adelphi East Canje, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) property on Wednesday last. This was after the meter reader observed that the meter was allegedly tampered with.Danlachmi Rikkhi called “Betty,” said she was not at home when the water was disconnected. According to her, a few days prior, the damaged meter was shown to her by the meter reader. As such, she went to the GWI office on Thursday where she was shown photographs of some tampered meter.“When I went to GWI, the girl calculated it and then told me that I have to pay $125,000. I told her that I will not be able to pay that money and that I am not even supposed to pay a reconnection fee because I don’t have an outstanding bill. She told me that if I am not satisfied, I could go to the Manager.”Danlachmi Rikkhi, called “Betty”, inspecting the meter that is outside her yardThe woman told Guyana Times that she visited the GWI office at Chesney Village where she met with a senior official who indicated that the pictures of the damaged meter revealed that it was hit with a blunt object.“He told me that the meter was tampered with. It is a hard case but I will have to pay.”The woman who had already paid $51,000 to the GWI between March and the December of this year said she should not be totally responsible since the water meter was moved from her yard and placed on the parapet.However, a source from the Guyana Water Inc noted that the water meters in the East Canje area were removed from within yards and placed on the parapets. This, the official explained, is to facilitate meter readers whenever they visit.Further, the official noted that if the meters are not read on a monthly basis, it will result in estimated bills being produced.According to GWI, there is a $75,000 cost for damage of property and a tampering fee of $30,000. There is also a reinstallation cost is $20,000.In light of this situation, the aggrieved customer has since reported the matter to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) which has since engaged GWI on the issue. The woman is contending that since the meters are on the parapet, the possibility exists that animals can trample upon them on any given day.“People cow, horse come there in the day and in the night. One lady tell them that animals are in this place all the time but the Manager is telling me that animals cannot do that.”Meanwhile, GWI reiterated that the meter is the property of the company but it is the responsibility of the customers to protect it.