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Delhi Jal Board gives a damn to austerity

Staff Reporter

Global tender floated for 2.5-lakh water meters when hundreds of meters are lying defunct for want of small repairs

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Jal Board it seems does not believe in taking austerity measures and in turn helping the public exchequer save precious revenue. The latest example is the floating of a global tender for manufacturing 2.5-lakh water meters when hundreds of meters are lying defunct at its workshops for want of small repairs.

The DJB unions and employees are sore over the water utility's step to purchase new meters from Indian or foreign companies. They feel that it is sheer waste of public money, particularly when a small investment would easily help in making these unused water meters functional once again.

Sources in the DJB informed that a large number of water meters were lying at its two workshops at Greater Kailash and Ashok Vihar for the past several years for want of spare parts. There was no need to purchase new water meters particularly when change of spare parts and minor repairs would make these defunct meters workable again, they claimed.

Alleging that the top DJB management cared little for its property, they said the State Government must probe the need for new meters.

The also alleged that the DJB officials were trying to hasten their case for purchase new meters in the name of getting more revenue by installing new meters.

Another interesting development on the road to the metered billing regime is the privatisation of installing and repairing of water meters where the water utility has decided to accept bids only from "big" bidders having an annual turnover of over Rs.20 crores and the capacity to manufacture a minimum of 25,000 water meters every month.

Claiming that no Indian company would be able to meet such "stringent" and "huge" requirements for the work, sources said it was obvious that the bidding was meant just for foreign players and small Indian companies have no chance.

Yet again the DJB was giving clear signals that the process of privatisation of the water utility has already begun, they added.

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