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Metrowater plans digital meters in commercial buildings

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The Hindu         05.04.2017

Metrowater plans digital meters in commercial buildings

Going hi-tech:The meters, which are equipped with GPS technology, will be able to detect leaks.  

Move aimed towards ensuring judicious use of water

Nearly eight years after an attempt was made to introduce water metering system in the city, Chennai Metrowater proposes to revive the plan by fixing water meters in commercial buildings.

As a first step towards ensuring judicious use of water in the burgeoning city, Metrowater proposes to fix digital water meters in 33,000 commercial buildings in the first phase. The process is already on to identify the buildings, including educational institutions and hospitals, that have water-intensive connections.

Eight lakh consumers

At present, there are nearly eight lakh consumers, including those in added areas and a minimum of 10,000 water/sewer connections are added to the network every year. Though the new consumers are directed to have only metered connections, the water agency often does not collect water charges according to the tariff owing to intermittent water supply.

Learning from its past experiences when the mechanical water meters installed proved faulty and the system could not be implemented completely, the water agency now plans to fix digital meters equipped with GPS technology and facilities to detect leaks and accurate reading.

It may be recalled that there was a resistance from residents to install water meters in the past years, owing to faulty meters and non-availability of quality meters

According to sources in the Metrowater, the water agency would install the water meters and recover the cost later from the consumers. This initiative would also help in accounting of water consumption pattern of domestic and commercial customers and improve distribution.

The metering system would be extended to multi-storeyed buildings based on the outcome of the project. “We have not yet taken a decision on the tariff revision. This would be an initial step towards encouraging water conservation and also checking the supply and consumption trends in the city,” an official said .

The water agency is preparing estimates for the project and plans to implement the project in six months. The metering system would be extended to all existing buildings in phased manner to improve revenue and ensure equitable water distribution.