PMC water department chief on how political pressure nullified drive to install GPS system on water tankers
The PMC has been receiving a number of complaints from the citizens against the water tanker operators, notably related to overcharging and inflated costs. Excerpts from water supply department’s VG Kulkarni interview with Abhay Khairnar on a number of related issues.pune Updated: Apr 19, 2018 14:59 IST
The Pune Municipal Corporation’s water supply department is supposed to monitor the supply of water through water tankers, wherever required. It is mandatory for all water tanker operators to fill clean and filtered water from the prescribed 10 tanker filling stations only. The PMC has been receiving a number of complaints from the citizens against the water tanker operators, notably related to overcharging and inflated costs. Excerpts from water supply department’s VG Kulkarni interview with Abhay Khairnar on a number of related issues.
The PMC made it mandatory for water tankers to be fitted with the GPS system for tracking their movement. Why is it not being followed by tanker operators?
It is true that the installation of the GPS system was made mandatory for the water tankers. This was to monitor the movement of the tankers and to check whether they were being diverted outside PMC limits. Two years ago, the PMC had stopped the supply of water to tankers without GPS, but due to political and administrative pressure, the deadline for installing the GPS system was extended. The civic administration has been pushing for this over the last many years but has not been getting any success. There is opposition from the tanker operators for installing the GPS system.
CCTV cameras were installed at PMC’s tanker filling points but one finds that they are not in operation. Why are these cameras not functioning?
A- Again, the cameras were installed to monitor the supply of water to the tankers. It is true that they are not functioning. Most of them have been damaged by anti-social elements. The PMC is now floating new tenders for installing the CCTV cameras at the tanker points.
The civic activists have been saying that the water meters installed at the tanker filling stations are not functioning properly. What do you have to say about this?
These meteres were installed a few years ago to monitor the quantity of water supplied to the tankers. However, the meters were broke down and were repaired against. Now new meters have been installed in a secured area.
Are water tanker operators diverting the water supply to areas outside the PMC limits?
Yes, in some cases this is true. The administration even found that some tanker operators have been selling water at commercial rates. This was the reason why the PMC had decided to install CCTV cameras at tanker points and make it mandatory to install GPS system in all the tankers.