A 27-member team of Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) returned to the city from Hubli on Wednesday after studying round-the-clock water supply scheme implemented in four wards in Hubli on a trial basis.
The team led by Mayor Praveen, comprised 21 councillors and six officials, an official who was part of the team told The Hindu. The tour was in connection with taking the 24 X 7 water supply scheme which the city corporation had proposed to implement in select wards here on a pilot basis forward, the official said.
The team members held discussions with officials and Mayor of Hubli-Dharwad on the success of the one implemented on a pilot basis in four wards of Hubli and four wards of Dharwad, the official said. However, the official said that the team members did not visit the four wards in Dharwad. Ranganath C. Kini, a councillor and former whip in the MCC council who was a part of the team, said that a team of officials and councillors of HDMC will arrive in Mangalore in the first or second week of July, particularly to study about laying concrete roads and welfare measures for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes adopted by the MCC.
Giving details about the visit, the official said that the HDMC had outsourced the round the clock water supply and its management to Veolia India Pvt. Ltd. in eight wards. It supplied round the clock water to 8,000 installations in Hubli and 6,000 installations in Dharwad.
The agency had laid new network of pipelines for the purpose and was not using the old network of pipelines. New meters had been installed at houses by the agency, he said. Mr. Kini said that the agency collected the cost of water from consumers at instalments by including it in monthly bills. It charged Rs. 30 as cost of the meter per month without charging any interest till the cost was recovered.
The councillor said that the agency had installed automatic water controlling valves in distribution networks. The official said that the bill collectors of the agency visited the houses twice, once for meter reading and recording, and second time for delivering the bills. There was no spot billing. It was particularly to establish contact with consumers. The official said that in four wards in Hubli, the agency collected about Rs. 14 lakh in terms of water tariff a month. Its management cost stood between Rs. nine lakh and Rs. 10 lakh.
The former Mayor M. Shankar Bhat during whose term the MCC council agreed to conduct a feasibility study on adopting the 24 X 7 scheme, told The Hindu that the corporation had been loosing non-revenue water worth Rs. 5 lakh a day due to pilferage and leakage.
Mr. Bhat said that supplying round-the-clock water through public private partnership would fix accountability on the supplier.