Maharashtra has decided to make water audit compulsory in 43 towns, which have been shortlisted for inclusion in a central government scheme to improve basic services such as water supply, sewerage and urban transport.
Water audit involves monitoring the water supply from the source to the end user, to ensure no leakage or theft.
The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (Amrut) programme seeks to cover more than 400 towns in the country, with a population of 1 lakh. Those selected from the state will get Rs 1,000 crore a year, with the state and the local civic body contributing to what is sent by the Centre.
Though the proportion of the sharing between the state and the civic bodies has not been finalised yet, the amount may vary from case to case, depending on the projects undertaken.
Of the 43, 21 towns are those governed by municipal corporations such as Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur and Nashik, while the rest are governed by municipal councils, including Badalapur, Ambernath, Panvel, Satara, Chandrapur and Jalna. The towns that failed to make it to the Smart City programme have been included in this scheme.
“We had shortlisted twenty cities for the Smart City programme, but only ten made it to the final list. Some of them were not financially sound enough to allocate Rs 50 crore annually as the supporting grant to the Centre and state’s Rs 150 crore, while some did not have the mechanism to properly plan the strategic spending of Rs 200 crore a year. All those cities have been given a chance to participate in this scheme,” said an official.
“We are planning to make the corporations and councils to compulsorily go for water audit, to ensure every drop is utilized. The metering will be done from the source of water from reservoir stocks to the end user of the water. This will help us avoid wastage and ensure better utilization of water,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, secretary, urban development department.
The Amrut aims at ensuring access to a tap with assured water and sewerage connection to every household, reduce pollution by switching to public transports and developing greenery and well maintained open spaces, over the next five years.
The Amrut scheme seeks to ensure tap water supply and a sewerage connection to every household, develop green and well-maintained open spaces and reduce pollution in more than 400 towns across the country
From Maharashtra, 43 towns, such as Thane, Pune, Nagpur, Badalapur, have been shortlisted
These are the towns that could not be included in the Smart City programme.