Delhiites can look forward to a relatively trouble-free tanker service this summer with the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) planning to roll out GPS-enabled steel body tankers to replace its existing rickety fleet in about two-three weeks.
DJB’s inability to cope with the demand, especially in summers, clubbed with shortage of tankers has meant that consumers are forced to buy costly water through private suppliers as DJB neither supplies enough piped water nor provides satisfactory tanker service.
The steel-body tankers — 3,000 litres and 9,000 litres — will be provided with a smart card, which have to be swiped at water-filling stations to keep a tab on the quantum of water the tanker is supplying.
Also, the global positioning system (GPS) will help the DJB keep track of the movement of these tankers as many of them are often found guilty of unauthorised distribution of water.
The DJB is now awaiting a date from the chief minister to formally launch the new tankers. For a start, about 55 such tankers are plying in three zones — Paschim Vihar, Burari and Janakpuri D block — on an experimental basis. “We want the GPS data reporting to be streamlined and the overall system to stabilise before a formal launch,” Debashree Mukherjee, DJB CEO said.
The DJB has always claimed that the problem of tankers not reaching on time was due to the adverse demand-supply ratio. The 1,000-odd tankers were proving inadequate for the burgeoning population in the city. People relying on private water tankers pay nearly Rs. 2,000 for a 5,000-litre tanker and between Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 3,500 for 12,000 litres.
The water utility plans to introduce 125 more tankers by mid-March and the rest by the end of that month. At present, its water tankers supply water in eight zones of Delhi through its own fleet and hired tankers (total around 1,000 tankers).
“The new tankers are much more efficient then the old fleet, so we can do with lesser numbers,” said an official. Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) will be providing the logistics support for running the new fleet, aimed to be in place by end-March.
Water supply to be affected
Water supply would be available at low pressure from Tuesday till Friday at East Patel Nagar, Cantonment area, RK Puram, Vasant Vihar, Moti Bagh, Teen Murti and NDMC areas. There would be no water supply on Wednesday between 10am and 10pm in Rohini sectors 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, Badli, Siraspur village, Shahbad village. Water supply would be affected on Wednesday and Thursday in Pitampura, Shalimar Bagh, Shalimar village, Haiderpur village and Ambedkar Nagar.