Delhi Jal Board on Tuesday approved tenders for new tankers - equipped with smart cards and GPS - to cater to water emergencies, a project pending for the past five years.
The water utility at its 108th board meeting decided that newly-manufactured water tankers - 3,000 litres and 9,000 litres - with stainless steel containers of water will be deployed soon to ensure quality.
Currently, DJB water tankers - a fleet of about 1,000 vehicles, both owned own and hired - supply water in eight zones across the city.Three companies, which have 385 tankers and have been awarded tenders, will supply water to consumers in five zones while the DJB will continue to supply tankers in three zones with its own fleet of about 250 tankers.
"Each tanker will be provided with a smart card, required to be swiped at water filling stations to facilitate check on the quantum of water being supplied. It will also have a GPS device for tracking its movement," said Debashree Mukherjee, DJB CEO.
Hindustan Times had last week highlighted the colossal water wastage at filling stations, the illegal sale of water enabled by free entry of touts at water emergencies and how leakages led to water problems to Delhiites.
The filling stations too are being re-designed as part of the tanker-service overhauling project, she said. The scheme is slated to be operational by December.
"The move will improve tanker services by checking wastage, diversion of water and unreliability of tanker visits," a DJB statement said.
Asked how can an additional fleet of just 385 tankers replace the earlier 1,000-odd number of tankers, a senior official said, "We are hoping that these new tankers would be much more efficient and work equal to the strength of the current fleet."