June 25, 2012 1:09:08 am
By its own admission,40 per cent of the water supplied by Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is non-revenue water.
Now,the DJB is finally set to launch its ambitious project to plug revenue losses.
Having outsourced the revenue management project to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in October,2010,the water utility is set to launch the project in mid-July,with the private operator having developed a comprehensive hardware and software solution for DJB.
In the final stages of a security audit at present,the system proposes to streamline the meter reading and bill generation. Manual billing being replaced by digitised metering,billing and bill collection. Billing in the last cycle had been cancelled after the water utility received hundreds of complaints of incorrect and inflated bills. The DJB had to launch camps across the city to sort out the problem.
The DJB officials said the new revenue management system would help check revenue losses,which are huge due to the difficulties in monitoring 90 zonal offices across the city.
The revamped model will have GIS mapping of water connections to cap non-revenue water and thefts,SMS alerts and automated generation of notices for late payments or defaulters.
For metering,the project will have separate modules for water and sewerage connections and meter status.
Consumers will also be able to pay their bills at the Delhi governments Jeevan centres.
According to officials,TCS is implementing the system. It has developed the software and hardware application for DJB,a data centre,and a data recovery centre for back-up. The five-year project was undertaken by the DJB at a cost of Rs 53 crore,including Rs 21 crore capital cost and Rs 32 crore cost for operations and management.
Officials said in future,the new system would also help in checking on frequent defaulters. At present,there is no system to detect defaulters. The department faces a lot of cases of cheques bouncing. The new system,however,would not accept cheques from such consumers, a senior DJB official said.
Under the project,the water utility would also make use of the GIS map prepared by the Delhi government and Survey of Delhi for a proper analysis of revenue and track consumers missing from the DJBs records. This would put the plug on water thefts and help detect illegal water connections, the official said.
The DJB has been training its revenue staff through TCS in handling the new system. Apart from this,self-reading of meters will also become the norm though it will first be implemented only on a trial basis.
Every month,consumers would get their readings on the basis of the last meter reading. If there is a difference of 20 kilolitre from the last bill,the consumer would be billed for 20 kilolitres. The consumer would then submit his/her reading to the specific zonal revenue office and pay the bill, the official said.
To keep a tab on self-reading,the DJB officials would visit areas twice in a year,he said.
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