‘Installation of meters in pockets with low water pressure to be put on hold’

Kolkata: In the wake of complaints regarding unavailability of water in wards of South Kolkata, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to temporarily stop installing water meters in areas where the pressure of water is low.

In a bid to check the wastage of water, KMC had decided to install meters to measure the quantity of water being used and wasted by a household. After North Kolkata, such meters are being installed in some areas of South Kolkata. However, a problem has cropped up where citizens living in low water pressure pockets complained that following the installation of meters, the situation has worsened.

A resident of Biplabi Ullaskar Dutta Road, in Ward 101, where such meters are being installed, complained to the Mayor Firhad Hakim about the alleged adverse effects of the water meters. On questioning officials, the Mayor was told that in certain areas in South Kolkata, such as in Ward 101, the average water pressure profile is lower than that of North Kolkata wards where no such problems were observed due to the presence of Tallah Tank.

Hakim opined there is hardly any point in installing meters if people do not get to avail water. He later told reporters that from now on the KMC will not install meters in areas where the water pressure is less. Once the pressure is increased, only then meters will be installed.

He said: “In South Kolkata, the meters are being installed in wards in Tollygunge and Thakurpukur but if it is seen that water pressure is reducing then we will stall the installation till two new water treatment plants at Dhapa and Garia come up.”

Hakim added that meters will be temporarily removed in pockets where such a problem is apparent. “Water meters will eventually be installed all over Kolkata,” he remarked.

Sources said that KMC had to start installing such meters in 2017 after the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is funding the overhauling of Kolkata’s underground piped water distribution network, pressured the civic body to do so. A KMC source said that every summer water supply crunch is faced by households in the areas of Jadavpur, Baghajatin, and parts of East Kolkata. “Meters are now being installed in households to monitor wastage,” said the source. The implementing agency for the installation of the water meters is KEIIP.

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