The civic body’s project of installing new water meters in the city to ensure accurate water consumption by citizens has slackened owing to delays in procuring meters and in surveying unmetered water connections in island city - a pre-requisite to installation of water meters.
Few firms have shown willingness to replace existing meters on unmetered water connections and provide new meters.
“Only two or three firms have responded to the statements of expression of interest (EoI) that were invited from meter manufacturing firms. Hence we have extended the deadline for more firms to participate in the process,” said a senior civic official from the hydraulic engineer’s department.
Meanwhile, all the 24 wards are also yet to submit reports stating the number of water meters that would be needed for installation.
The biggest impediments to this project are the unmetered water connections in most parts of South Mumbai where residents pay a blanket charge for water as part of their property tax.
“The pilot survey conducted by the BMC to study the feasibility of installing water meters in parts of A (Colaba and Fort) and G South (Prabhadevi, Worli and Chinchpokli) ward is yet to be expanded to the rest of the seven wards in the island city,” said another official.
This is also likely to cause delays in the civic body’s water audit project as functional consumer meters are a must to identify the exact quantity of water lost by quantifying the difference in the amount of water supplied and the amount of water that reaches end users.
“The BMC must take additional efforts to reach out to residents of old buildings in South Mumbai where historically residents have not used water meters. The BMC must ensure that bureaucratic hurdles are curbed in every stage of the project,” said Rishi Aggarwal, research fellow at Observer Research Foundation, a think tank.