The civic body has sunk 1,986 bore wells across the 100 wards to supply groundwater to residents

After the implementation of short message service-based public toilet maintenance system, the Coimbatore Corporation mulls a proposal to plug loopholes in bore well maintenance.

According to sources in the Coimbatore Corporation, of late it has come to the notice of the senior officials that contractors in-charge of maintaining bore wells could be charging the civic body for bore wells that are dysfunctional.

The civic body has sunk 1,986 bore wells across the 100 wards to supply groundwater to residents to help them meet their non-drinking water needs. It has handed over the maintenance of the bore wells to 100 contractors — a contractor a ward — by paying them Rs. 1,584 a month.

The money the Corporation spends on maintenance works out to Rs. 31.45 lakh a month. And this in addition to the money the civic body spends on power, which comes to around Rs. 1.29 crore every two months.

The sources say that there are a few bore wells that do not function at all. There are bore wells with motors that do not run for days together in a month. And then there are bore wells, the water from which could be diverted for private use.

To identify bore wells that function well and those that do not, the Corporation has no choice but to rely solely on the electricity consumption readings attached to the motors.

But then the meters do not provide accurate data because the meters could themselves be out of use. Even if the meters work well, it will be difficult to find out if the water is used for public good.

To overcome the problem, the Corporation plans to develop software, which, with the help of a subscriber identity module (SIM) card will be able to collect and collate data related to bore wells on a day-to-day basis.

The sources say that the Corporation plans to attach a device to each of the 1,986 bore wells to study how many hours a day each bore well functions. And for how many days in a month. If the reading is nil, the Corporation will not pay the contractor in-charge of maintenance.

If the bore well is functional only for a few days in a month, the Corporation will pay not the entire maintenance charges but only the proportionate amount. And if the motors run for longer than the usual duration, the Corporation will check the misuse as well.

To ensure that the aforementioned system works well, the Corporation will do a study of all the bore wells in the city to collect details like their location, the capacity of motors attached thereto, how many residents each of the bore wells feed, the average bimonthly power consumption taking into account the summer and winter variations, etc.

The sources say that the Corporation will implement the scheme with urgency because there are demands to increase the bore well maintenance from Rs. 1,584 a month to around Rs. 2,100 a month.

Only if the Corporation plugs the loopholes, will the hike in maintenance charge having meaning, they add.

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