By Constantinos Psillides
HOMES and businesses in the Paphos district have been rigging their water meters to avoid paying high water bills with the local utilities losing about €500,000 per year, according to the town’s mayor Fedonas Fedonos.
Appearing on the Sigma TV noon news show on Thursday, the mayor said that municipal workers found the rigged meters and reported their findings to the town hall. According to Fedonos, the owners bypassed the water meter by inserting a hose to the water supply prior to it going through the meter.
“We will show zero tolerance in all of these cases. Home and store owners found to have rigged their water meters will be reported to police immediately,” pledged Fedonos, clarifying that if anyone tries to lobby him to get an exemption he won’t hesitate to publicly call them out.
“Municipal workers will start going from door to door and checking the meters. If they find any irregularity then the store or home owner will be reported to the authorities,” he said.
Fedonos told the Cyprus Mail that the offenders are mainly home owners and hotels in the Paphos town area.
The mayor said that he had his suspicions for about a year but couldn’t access privileged information or order an investigation, something that he did upon assuming his mayoral duties in February.
Fedonos had another bone to pick with the hoteliers, telling Sigma TV that some hotel owners are falsifying their guest numbers so as to appear to have accommodated fewer people, to get out of paying a higher guest tax to the municipality.