In a bid to reduce wastage of water, improve service and fulfill the mandate of the funding agency, World Bank, Metrowater has undertaken the task of metering every household in the city in the next five years.
Completion of this task alone can help secure the 600 crore funding. Right now, city residents pay a fixed charge of 80 every month.
In the first phase, meters will be fixed in 50,000 commercial establishments, multi-storey buildings, apartment complexes and partly commercial establishments by March 2023. An assessment will be done and a metering policy framed.
Of the 12,708 meters already fixed in a city with more than 7.5 lakh water connections, several thousands are dysfunctional.
A senior Metrowater official said this was being done under World bank-funded Chennai city partnership programme. The agency hopes water leakages and wastage will reduce significantly after the system is in place.
Metrowater is preparing a policy and will present it to the board before seeking suggestions and approval from the state government in about a month.
“In the second phase, we will set up meters in buildings with ground plus three floors, followed by those with ground plus two floors in the third phase and so on. Mostly mechanical meters will be set up in buildings with ground plus one floor and automated meters will be set up in buildings that have more than ground plus two floors. We will also set up a command and control centre installed with a scada system that will detect leakages and readings automatically without the requirement of man power,” the official said.
Presently, meters fixed in buildings in the core city are either under repair or placed six feet underground making it impossible to take readings. Those requiring repairs will be mended and others placed above the ground.