Cantonment Board to strictly enforce the rule to check illegal water connections and to also ascertain the quantity of water being supplied

Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) is finally set to enforce the rule of mandatory installation of water meters in a bid to check illegal water connections and also ascertain the quantity of water being supplied to colonies and wards.

As per Cantonment rules, it is mandatory for residents to install water meters to obtain a water connection, but due official apathy and poor monitoring a majority of residents have not installed water meters. However, authorities claim 6,000 residents had installed water meters, but most of these were either defunct or are damaged.

As per SCB records, there are over 16,000 water connections in over 270 residential colonies and 125 slums. Efforts are now on to make all the residents, including the defaulters, to install water meters. Each meter costs about Rs.500 and board members have to decide whether residents will have to bear the cost or the board itself bears the expenditure during the next board meeting to be held shortly, he adds.

Once the meters are installed, it will help the board to ascertain all details about consumption, wastage, illegal drawing etc. Presently, the board has installed incoming water meters at all the pump houses and the eight pipelines on the cantonment outskirts to ascertain the quantum of water supplied by Water Board. Everyday the SCB requires 60 lakh gallons of water, but the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) supplies only 40 lakh gallons.

Rising complaints

The other reason to press for implementing the mandatory installation of water meters is rising complaints pertaining to irregular and non-supply of water from residents. Faced with criticism, A.K. Kapoor, Principal Director, Defence Estates in November last had instructed the board president, Sunil S.Bodhe, to conduct a water audit.

But authorities could not commence the audit for different reasons. There were plans to rope in a government agency to conduct the audit but they insisted on data, including number of connections, quantum of water supplied to each colony etc, says the official.

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