NGO alleges meter scam in Jal Board
An NGO on Tuesday raised questions about purchase of almost 14.2 lakh water meters by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) against the requirement of 3.5 lakh un-metered connections and demanded immediate scrapping of the project.delhi Updated: May 29, 2013 01:50 IST
An NGO on Tuesday raised questions about purchase of almost 14.2 lakh water meters by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) against the requirement of 3.5 lakh un-metered connections and demanded immediate scrapping of the project.
DJB officials have, however, refuted the claim and denied any scam.
Water activist group, Citizens Front for Water Democracy (CFWD), claimed the DJB purchased 14,29,400 water meters against the requirement of 3,51,000 un-metered connections since 2008-09.
Explaining the maths, CFWD claimed, the DJB recently purchased and installed 4 lakh meters and again ordered supply and installation of 7.49 lakh more water meters. Again, for the next financial year, the water utility has approved supply and installation of another 6.8 lakh meters, totaling replacement of 18.29 lakh meters across Delhi.
"As on April 2012, against a total consumer base of 19.43 lakh, 15.92 lakh connections are metered and only 3.5 lakh are un-metered. We have reasons to believe this process is a big fraud. This huge unnecessary purchase will burden citizens," said CFWD's SA Naqvi.
The Front and another organisation Water Workers' Alliance have demanded immediate scrapping of the "scandalous project" and setting up of an investigation to prevent loss to exchequer.
Refuting allegations of a scam, BM Dhaul, DJB's member (water) explained: "We had earlier procured only 4 lakh meters, which have been installed/changed.
This time round, we have placed order and the work has started for another lot of 4 lakh meters. What they don't understand is that, of the existing metered connections, as much as 40% are faulty meters."
Consumers are not willing to change their faulty meters, said an official. He added that the bulk of new meters are replacement of the faulty meters.