The Water Services Department earlier this week made known its decision that as of September this year, the office responsible for preparation and payment of water bills will be transferred to the Needs Must office, some distance out of the downtown centre of the capital, Basseterre, where the current office is stationed.
However, this has not gone down well with consumers who question the wisdom in the action, given the negative implications for the public, especially those senior citizens without private transportation and also those customers who are residing in the rural parts of the island.
The argument of the public is that rural customers from the western portion of St. Kitts especially, would now be required to take at least two busses, to reach the Needs Must location. This would also increase their travel costs to make such payments.
In addition, others are making the claim that instead of shifting the office to the new location, it may have served the customers better, had one of the many abandoned or un-used government owned buildings in the heart of the city, be utilized.
Though government has given no such indication, there are fears as well that authorities are preparing to increase the rates for water payments, as part of a financial program to help reverse the huge public debt of the government, now estimated at 3 billion dollars.