Aims to reduce revenue losses, improve water supply
The Delhi Jal Board's ambitious plan to outsource water distribution and revenue collection on a pilot basis in three areas based on a public-private partnership basis has been accorded administrative approval. At a Jal Board meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday the pilot project was given the go-ahead.
The project has a twin purpose: to reduce revenue losses and to improve distribution of water. “Taking a cue from privatisation of power and the subsequent improvement in supply and services, we have decided to carry out an exercise in three areas of the city where operations and management will be outsourced. The aim is to bring in improvement in the city's water supply and raise the bar vis-à-vis services offered by the Jal Board. The project is also expected to plug the leaks in the system and help us reduce losses on account of non-revenue water,” said DJB Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Negi.
The project, which faced opposition on the grounds that it would pave the way for “privatisation of the water sector”, has the approval of the Planning Commission as well.
The pilot project will take off at Malviya Nagar Underground Reservoir command area, Nangloi Water Treatment Plant and Vasant Vihar with their adjoining areas. “We will extensively study the outcome of these projects, and on the basis of the feedback decide if it can be replicated to other areas,” said Mr. Negi.
The Board also approved the proposal of upgrading and improving water supply system in Mehrauli Township at an estimated cost of Rs.145 crore which includes operation and maintenance for a 12-year period.
Approval was also granted for modernisation of the plant and setting up of SCADA system at Bhagirathi Water Treatment Plant and its major booster pumping stations and underground reservoirs at an estimated cost of Rs.271.80 crore with a maintenance period of 10 years.
To improve the water distribution system through tankers, the Jal Board has accorded approval to replace around 250 water tankers, which are around 13 years old, at an estimated cost of Rs.87,48,58,100 with a maintenance period of 10 years. The DJB currently supplies drinking water to areas with no piped connections through 1,000 water tankers.
The Jal Board also gave administrative approval to the estimate for operation and maintenance of the 11-MGD recycling plant at Wazirabad and the 16-MGD recycling WTP at Haiderpur Water Works for a period of 5 years at a cost of approximately Rs.37,63,37,855.
With the objective of replacing defective meters and metering of un-metered connections, the Jal Board has given administrative approval to the revised estimate of Rs.364.50 crore for supply, installation and a 7-year maintenance of 8 lakh domestic water meters.
The Jal Board also approved the replacement of the water mains and reviewed several welfare schemes for its employees.