Residents of old buildings in south Mumbai, who currently pay a blanket charge for water as part of their property tax, will soon be paying bills based on the actual amount of water they use.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recently concluded a month-long pilot survey in two of the island city’s wards to study un-metered connections as a pre-requisite to determining a model to install meters.
With this survey, the civic body will be able to able to identify the number of connections at each of these buildings so that meters can be installed accordingly. The civic body has no record, at present, about the type of these connections or the kind of distribution pattern followed for old south Mumbai buildings.
“Unlike in the suburbs where each building has one connection and a suction tank to draw and store water, in the island city old buildings have got a bunch of connections, which in some places, are even directly connected to homes,” said an official from the hydraulic engineer’s department.
Hindustan Times had reported in March this year that installation of meters for old buildings would result in south Mumbai residents paying less for water as their water consumption would be monitored and bills would be drawn up on that basis.
Officials said after the findings of the pilot survey are studied, it would be decided if an external agency needs to be appointed to survey the rest of the wards or if it could be carried out by civic engineers.
“Once all nine wards in the island city are surveyed and a model is planned, tenders would be issued to invite agencies to install meters,” said AS Tawadia, deputy hydraulic engineer.
To look at the larger picture, the entire city stands to gain if all water connections are metered. It would help the civic body form district metering zones in the island to conduct a water audit that has been planned to check the amount of water loss in the city and quantify the amount of water each of the city’s administrative wards receives.
“The patterns of un-metered connections need to be identified and meters have to be installed which is a pre-requisite for the formation of district metering zones in the island city and for the project of water audit to materialise,” said Tawadia.