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Civic body mulls meters in each flat to reduce wastage of water

By Sagar Pillai, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON DEC 04, 2019 12:30 AM IST

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is mulling over the idea of setting up separate water meters for individual apartments instead of a combined meter system for housing societies. BMC is also planning to provide subsidies to old flats or housing societies that opt for individual water meters.

An internal committee of BMC studied water distribution in the city and submitted a report that suggested water consumption should be accounted for each home on a daily basis to prevent wastage and disproportionate distribution.

Following this, at a meeting held last month, municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi directed officials to explore the idea of setting up individual meters, frame an action plan and submit the same.

“By this means, we can incentivise water-saving and impose penalties on wasteful use,” Pardeshi told HT.

A senior official from BMC’s hydraulic department said, “While a housing society has a common water meter for all flats, it is difficult to gauge which flat is using how much water as some residents can be very careful with water usage while others may be completely the opposite.”

However, some officials said implementing individual household meters is difficult and challenging considering a large number of consumers.

The hydraulic department is also framing a policy for individual household water meters for all new construction projects, commercial and residential.

On an average, each household in Mumbai gets about three to four hours of water daily. BMC supplies 3,750 million litres (ml) daily against the city’s demand of 4,200(ml).

BMC requires 14.47ml water stock at the end of the monsoon for water to last till the next monsoon.

Civic officials said volumetric meters in every household may help prevent wastage. “We can charge households as per their usage of water, which will help avoid water wastage and will ensure equal distribution of water,” said an official.

However, Sitaram Shelar of the non-governmental organisation Pani Haq Samiti questioned whether individual metres would be effective. “Not a single company that provides volumetric metres scientifically provides accurate data,” said Shelar and added, “A white paper on BMC’s hydraulic department revealed that 80% of BMC’s existing meters are defunct.”

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