The Non-Revenue Water Management (NRWM) wing and anti-theft unit of the Kerala Water Authority, central region, has reported a loss of 64 per cent in revenue because of water thefts in the city. Non-domestic consumers account for the majority of such thefts.
The authority has so far collected Rs. 19.16 lakh out of the estimated dues of Rs. 22.86 lakh from the defaulters. Revenue recovery cases have been registered against four major defaulters and the amount they have to pay is Rs. 3.69 lakh.
At a major bakery in the city, the connection was cut when it owed Rs. 59,108 as dues. However, the connection had to be restored without recovering the dues. The bakery now has an amount of Rs. 1.24 lakh as dues.
One of the lodges in Kaloor has to pay Rs.1.39 lakh to the water authority. The lodge’s connection was cut on November 22, 2012. It was restored later but cut again in December. Another lodge owner has dues of Rs. 76,760. This lodge was working on a domestic connection and in 2005, the meter reader had reported that the meter at the lodge was in “not working” condition.
Another lodge was functioning using three connections with one meter not in working condition. This line was found to be connected to a motor set. Water authority officials had to confront political interference in this case before submitting their report.
A hotel was found to use 534 kilo litres of water while it paid bills for only 30 kl. Another hotel with two connections paid bills for 78 kl and 41 kl but it has been found to have consumed 297 kl and 312 kl respectively on each connection.
“If the water supplied is all accounted for, the Kerala Water Authority can come out of its losses”, said K.M. Siddique, assistant executive engineer, who heads the NRWM unit here. Only 104 million litres (mld) of water out of the 168 mld supplied is accounted for.
Of the approximate 1.80 lakh connections in the city, the NRWM team could inspect only 1,000 connections from July 2012. The team has been conducting checks after getting information from meter readers.
Keywords: Kochi water theft