To get a clear estimate of the water consumption of Mumbai and cut down on thefts, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has formed a committee to come up with ways to ensure all water connections in Mumbai are metered.
If this happens, the civic body will be able get the exact water consumption data of the city and discover the volume of unaccounted water, helping it fix the demand and supply gap.
According to the data available with the BMC, there are 3.11 lakh water consumers. Most slums in the city do not have meters.
The civic body had started the process of installing Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) machines in housing societies five years ago. However, the process was haphazard and the installation was done in a scattered manner.
Also, the civic body was reluctant to set up the expensive machines – each meter was worth Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000 – in slums, after some were damaged by the residents, said sources in the water department.
At present, the BMC has installed approximately 89,000 meters across the city while 32,000 are yet to be used.
Taking note of the situation, the BMC commissioner, Ajoy Mehta, has asked the committee to come up with a more efficient system of installing the meters, so that the whole city can be covered.
One of the plans being considered, said a source from the water department, is to concentrate on one ward at a time, and move to the next only after all houses in it have been covered. The AMRs are to be replaced with less expensive automatic meters.
“Only when we successfully complete 100% metering of a particular ward, will we start the metering in other wards. At present, there is no uniformity in the installation of the meters. There is large section of slum population that has not been metered,” said a water department official, on condition of anonymity, as he is not auhorised to speak to the media.
“Also, 100% metering will help in getting the exact data of unaccounted water, which gets lost during supply,” the official added.