The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to install water meters in every household in Joka.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Mayor-in-Council members on Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by Mayor Sovan Chatterjee.
It may be mentioned that Kolkata is the only city in the country where drinking water is given free to residents.
KMC has taken elaborate measures to provide water to the people of Kolkata. After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told the mayor that steps should be taken to ensure that people in the city receive adequate water.
Chatterjee said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide Rs 450 crore to set up three booster pumping stations and five overhead reservoirs in Joka. It may be recalled that three wards of Maheshtala Municipality are now under KMC’s jurisdiction and work is on to build infrastructure in the area. Currently, KMC has 144 wards under its jurisdiction.
Chatterjee – who was a Mayor-in-Council member in charge of water supply during the mayorship of Subrata Mukherjee between 2000-05 – knows the water supply system in the city like the back of his right hand. He became a Councillor of KMC back in 1985.
KMC will install the water meters, without the owners having to pay for the installation. The ADB had insisted on imposing water tax, but the Chief Minister has categorically stated that no water tax will be imposed in the state.
KMC supplies 320 million gallons per day of filtered water and spends Rs 250 crore to produce filtered water annually. The cost of production of 1,000 litres of filtered water is Rs 3.25.
However, around 20mgd of drinking water is wasted every day. Once water meters are installed, KMC will be able to detect wastage of water and can take steps to stop put a check on it. Defaulters will also be accordingly penalised.
Senior civic officials said steps should be taken to rationalise utilisation of water. The city used to face acute water supply crisis in the late 1980s. After Subrata Mukherjee became the Mayor, he along with Sovan Chatterjee prepared a plan and construction of several booster water supply stations began.
The drinking water problem in some pockets of Behala has recently been resolved. Vast areas of East Kolkata and eastern fringes are now getting drinking water. There is also a proposal to supply drinking water round the clock.
Meanwhile, Chatterjee on Wednesday said that KMC authorities will float a fresh tender for parking lots after the festive season ends.
Informing that several complaints regarding hike in parking fee, cramming of cars and illegal collection of parking fees had been received from parking attendants in the city during the Durga Puja, Chatterjee said action will be taken against the concerned after Kali Puja and Diwali.
He said fresh car parking tenders will be floated after the current festive season.