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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Jul 2014

MC to hand over job of water bills to pvt player

Arjun Sharma , Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, April 21, 2013
First Published: 23:55 IST(21/4/2013) | Last Updated: 00:06 IST(22/4/2013)

Residents of Ludhiana would soon be required to pay Rs. 6 for every 1,000 litres of water once meters are installed and handed over to a private company.

The work on finalising the tenders for water meters is on and would be completed within two months.

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The residents will get round-the-clock water supply after the private firm takes over.

The proposal for installation of water meters through a private company was included in the municipal corporation (MC) budget this year. The total cost of the project would be Rs. 1,500 crore, of which Rs. 200 crore would be spent on water meters.

The project was approved under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) as per which 50% of total funds will be provided by the central government, while 30% and 20% will be pitched in by the MC and state government respectively.

Kamlesh Bansal, additional commissioner (technical), MC, said the tenders for hiring a private agency for taking care of the water meters would be floated soon, adding that residents would be required to get the water meters from market themselves.

The MC has decided to give the contract for water bills to a private company after it suffered heavy financial losses due to residents not paying their water bills.

Water meters were installed around 15 years back in every house of the city. But, the project failed miserably as most meters were tampered with and some developed technical snags.

The MC had been calculating and providing bills to the residents itself since then. But, now it has decided to hand over the job to a private firm after inviting tenders.

Sources said that MC would also install new water pipes, upgrade the sewerage system and also improve canal water system in the city.

An official of the operations and maintenance (O&M) wing, said the project that was launched 15 years ago for recovery of water bills through meters hit a road block when the biased approach was seen in issuing the bills.

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