Ludhiana residents may get water meters that could be tracked online. With the help of advanced technology being used in the new meter, the users would be able to track their real time bill on mobile or computer.
As of now, there is no water meter in any locality of the city; however, with the central government paving the way for the installation of water meters across the country under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the residents of the city are likely to get the advanced meter that has already been approved by the government.
A Delhi-based private firm'i3Indya' Technologies has prepared the model of the water meter and submitted it to the central government. The government, as a measure of e-governance, handed over the technology to the Jodhpur Jal Board, which got around 1 lakh meters installed so far.
Jaspreet Singh, director of i3Indya, said: “The technology enables users to access their water meter anytime and from anywhere on their mobile, iPad, or computer.”
The meters will also be provided to the municipal corporations of various other states, including Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
“i3Indya has recently been conferred with the Times Research's India Education Excellence Award 2013 in recognition of its significant professional contribution and academic achievements in the education sector,” he said.
Singh said the water meters would soon be installed in households in Himachal Pradesh, Harayana and Punjab under the centrally-sponsored scheme (JNNURM).
Meanwhile, the Ludhiana municipal corporation has been planning to install water meters across the city so that it could control the usage of water and generate revenue for its coffer. Moreover, the MC has decided to privatise the water bill collection system on contract basis after it suffered heavy losses as residents did not pay rent on the used water.
Kamlesh Bansal, chief additional commissioner (technical) and zonal commissioner, Zone A, said at present the MC was deciding water rates that would be imposed after installation of water meters. “Type of water meters is the second step, which has not been decided yet,” added Bansal.
Under JNNURM scheme, 50% of the total cost of the project (for installation of meters) will be provided by the central government, while 30% and 20% will be given by the municipal corporation and the state government, respectively.
Earlier, the efforts were made to install water meters in households in Ludhiana 15 years back, however the project failed miserably as most of the meters were found tampered with and some had developed technical snag.
According Jaspreet Singh, “Regular monthly manual checking of residential water meter have always been a problem for the local bodies, as it needed huge manpower for collecting data. Besides, jal boards and municipal bodies have to face allegations of corruption and harassment on faulty meter reading.”
“The latest digital water meter will make the process transparent and error-free along with providing a technological solution that will drastically reduce the manpower cost. With the help of GSM-GPRS module, the meter reading taken by a micro controller will directly be fed to a server online and the consumer or jal boards will be able to track it anytime from anywhere. It will, thus, provide bills online to the consumers,” he said.