By February, the civic body will have gathered all the background data it requires to start charging residents for the water the actually consume instead of the the blanket charge many pay right now.
This data will be used to install water meters on all the unmetered connections there are in the city. It is estimated that there are one lakh water connections in the island city that are unmetered. These residents pay a charge for water as part of their property tax.
The survey undertaken by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) aims at identifying the water distribution patterns in these old SoBo buildings.
Explaining the need for the survey, Ramesh Bhambale, chief hydraulic engineer, BMC, said, “To begin with, the source of many of the connections in island city is not known. Unlike in the suburbs where a building has a common source for its water connections, many buildings in the island city have several, differing from floor to floor.”
The ongoing survey, which is being conducted by the BMC’s hydraulic engineers department, began in September with a pilot study of unmetered connections in the A (Colaba and Fort) and G South (Prabhadevi, Worli and Chinchpokli) wards.
“In the beginning, a pilot survey was taken up in small pockets of these wards to gauge the difficulties that we might face while installing meters for these connections,” added Bhambale.
The survey will now be extended to all nine wards in the island city, with a focus on four wards that have a large number of unmetered water connections — B (Mandvi, Umerkhadi and Dongri), C (Khara Talao, Bhuleshwar and Dhobi Talao), D (Khetwadi, Tardeo, Walkeshwar and Mahalaxmi) and E (Mazgaon, Kamathipura and Byculla)
However, residents of these buildings might have to wait for some more months before the civic body actually installs meters on their water connections.
Although the procedure to procure mechanical water meters has been started by the BMC, a sample set of meters, which will be supplied by meter manufacturers, first need to be sent to the Fluid Control Research Institute of India in Kerala for testing.