Order placed for four lakh more: DJB

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has refuted the claims of NGO Citizen’s Front for Water Democracy that the water utility is procuring more meters than it needs to. In a statement issued here, the Board dismissed these allegations.

“The figures given by the NGO are misleading, baseless and mischievous. In fact, the DJB has procured and installed four lakh domestic water meters over the last six years [2005-2011]. At present the Jal Board has about 19.81 lakh registered consumers, of which 14.2 lakh are metered. In order to encourage metering of water consumption, the Board allows its consumers to procure and install their own ISI-marked meters. However, around 40 per cent of the meters installed by the consumers are found to be either deficient or non-functional. Therefore, the Board decided to procure and install, at its own cost, good quality meters with built in operation and maintenance of five years for metering of water consumption. This is expected to improve water auditing and encourage responsible and equitable consumption of water,” the DJB statement read.

It went on to add that the Board has recently placed an order in April 2013 for procurement of four lakh more meters with built-in operation and maintenance of seven years. “This order is now under implementation. It needs to be mentioned in this context that the Jal Board also expects the consumer base to increase rapidly because new, planned and unplanned areas have been connected with piped water supply network. This requires the Board to be equipped with adequate number of meters in order to ensure that newly sanctioned water connections are metered right from inception.”

For the Chandrawal project, which envisages the rehabilitation of not only the oldest water treatment plant but also its command area, the detailed project report is under preparation and no requirement for meters has been finalised yet. “It should also be mentioned that the replacement of meters is a continuous process since all meters have a certain life cycle. The Board’s endeavour is to continuously expand its connection base and ensure that all connections are provided with accurate meters.”

The NGO had claimed that the DJB was procuring at least 14,29,400 meters, whereas there were only 3,51,000 unmetered connections.