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GMDA to use technology to check pilferage, sabotage: CEO Umashankar

The GMDA hopes that beginning July, it will be able to address within hours cases of water theft and pipeline sabotage by the mafia.

gurgaon Updated: Jun 14, 2019 04:14 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
GMDA,GMDA CEO,gmda ceo
Hindustan Times spoke to GMDA CEO V Umashankar to understand how the authority plans to rein in the water mafia.(HT file photo)

The Gururgam Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is employing a surveillance system based on Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping technology, a citywide network of fibre optic cables running parallel to its water pipelines and close-circuit television cameras (CCTVs). The GMDA hopes that beginning July, it will be able to address within hours cases of water theft and pipeline sabotage by the mafia. Hindustan Times spoke to GMDA CEO V Umashankar to understand how the authority plans to rein in the water mafia.

Tell us about the current water supply infrastructure in the city

GMDA is the master water supplier to the city. It has sufficient capacity to supply the present demand of water which is about 410MLD. Bulk water supply from treatment plants in Chandu Budhera and Basai is 450-480 MLD. The water supply to sectors 58 to 67 was commissioned on May 1 this year, and will reach other sectors starting July. We are also supplying water to MCG, which is making it available for residents in its own jurisdiction. Presently, colonies on the outskirts and new licenced colonies in areas like Gwal Pahari and Ghata are facing some technical problems and are depending on tanker supply. But, our aim is to eventually integrate them as well.

Water mafia is a big threat to the supply infrastructure. How do you plan to rein them in?

The district administration has appointed teams of officials drawn from different departments to crack down on the water mafia. These teams submit regular reports. They even met the Gurugram police commissioner, Muhammad Akil, on May 15 and gave a representation, demanding police action against those who damaged the master water pipeline near Pioneer Park in Sector 61, thrice in May. The police have also increased vigilance in these areas, and the water supply has been running smoothly for the last one month with no complaints received.

Which areas are the worst affected by the mafia?

We had only received complaints from Sector 61 and we had roped in the police. Since then, no incident has been brought to our notice. This activity may be prevalent in areas where there is a shortage of water.

What steps has GMDA taken to protect water supply infrastructure in such areas?

Our staff is patrolling the area and teams are sent on the spot from where we receive regular complaints. We are in the process of setting up an extensive GIS-based surveillance at our upcoming Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) in Sector 44, which is expected to be inaugurated in July. The system will consist of a network of CCTVs and sensors that will transmit real time visual feeds and data to a dashboard dedicated to water supply at the command centre. The work of augmentation of water supply in Sector 58-115 is being taken up in three phases. In phase 1, sector 58 to 67 was commissioned. In phase 2, from sector 99 to 115 was partly commissioned. In phase three, pipeline work is in progress between sector 69 and 98. It is likely to be completed by end of this year.

First Published: Jun 14, 2019 04:14 IST