The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has found that the civic record books have no mention of as many as 35,000 water meters reportedly installed by a private firm in Pimpri-Chinchwad. The civic administration has decided to launch a search to ascertain whether water meters were actually installed or not.
Municipal Commissioner Dr Shrikar Pardeshi said he was not aware about the entire installation process until Monday. I have decided to enquire into the matter. I have asked officials to find out the whereabouts of the meters, he said. Dr Pardeshi said he has also decided to find why clauses regarding repairing of meters and distribution of bills by private parties were dropped from the agreement. A civic official said this was done without anybodys knowledge.
PCMC executive engineer Sharad Jadhav said meter system was implemented during the tenure of former municipal commissioner Dilip Band in 2006. The then civic chief had ordered that water meters for all water connections be installed by a private firm, he said. Accordingly,meters were installed,but since PCMC does not keep records of illegal water lines,the civic administration has no record of the water meters installed for such lines. We are tying to find out about the water meters…Our officials are certain that the meters were installed, Jadhav said.
The civic chief said,If the water meters are found missing,PCMC will launch a deeper probe into the matter. Senior civic officials said total cost of the missing water meters is Rs 10 crore.
Civic officials said in 2006,PCMC had decided to implement the water meter system. A private firm was given the contract to install 1.39 lakh water meters across the town at a cost of Rs 37 crore. It installed as many as 1.4 lakh meters,the record for which is available with the civic administration,officials said. However,record of 35,000 meters is not available, officials said.
Welcoming the civic chiefs step to probe the matter,Shiv Sena corporator Shrirang Barne said,The entire procedure and agreement of water meter system was bogus. I had raised this issue several times in the civic general body meeting,but the ruling party and the administration did not pay heed, he said.