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Monday, July 16, 2018

Jal Board looks at hi-tech meters to check loss

The Capital’s water meters are set to get a hi-tech makeover soon. If all goes according to the Delhi Jal Board’s plans...

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Published: June 28, 2010 12:46:37 am

The Capital’s water meters are set to get a hi-tech makeover soon. If all goes according to the Delhi Jal Board’s plans,by next year manual billing will give way to an information technology-based metering,billing and bill collection system. With the officials pointing to the loss in revenue as monitioring proves difficult over the 90 zonal offices,the DJB is looking to outsource its revenue management to private players.

Officials said the plan is to have the private firms develop complete hardware and software solutions for the utility.

The revamped model will be a totally integrated system and will provide advanced features like on-the-spot bill generation and payment,GIS mapping of water connections to tap non-revenue water and thefts,SMS alerts and automated generation of notices for late payments or defaulters.

For metering,the project will entail two modules: new water and sewerage connections,and the status of the existing meters in terms of functionality. The entire data would be digitised,a senior official said.

DJB’s Additional CEO Santosh Vaidya told Newsline: “This would make the system more reliable and fast. The bill would be generated in front of the consumer,who can choose to make an on-the-spot payment or through mobile phone,Internet,banks,or cash counters.”

The state-of-the-art equipment will also allow consumers to pay their bills at the Delhi government’s Jeevan centres.

According to sources,IT majors like Infosys,Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro have shown interest in the project and submitted their financial bids. The evaluation of bids is on at a war footing in DJB,and the water utility hopes to complete the task by June 30,sources said.

While the cost of the project has not been decided yet,according to the revenue model proposed by the DJB,the department will pay 30 per cent of the entire cost in the first nine months — also the time given to the contractor to implement the project. Since the contract will be five-year one,the utility will pay rest of the project cost in quarterly installments.

The new system also promises to put a tight check 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 DJB’s records. “This would put a complete check on water thefts and help detect illegal water connections and further planning,” Director (Revenue) S B Shashank told Newsline.

According to officials,the company that will get the contract would implement the system in the initial 9 months — develop the complete software and hardware application for DJB,develop a data centre,and a data recovery centre for a total back-up. The company would continue to work on the project for a total of five years.

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