No water meters at civic body officers’ homes yet, PMC faces criticism for warning citizens against excess consumption

After being pulled up by the Centre for failing to complete the 24×7 water supply project on time, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has now stoked controversy after it “admitted” that water metres have not been installed at the residential buildings of the municipal commissioner and other officers. This comes in the backdrop of the civic body’s warning of legal action to metered consumers against use of more than 150 lite water a day.

NGO Sajag Nagrik Manch had recently sought information from the civic administration on the water consumed at the official houses of municipal commissioner, additional municipal commissioner, mayor’s bungalow and other properties but was informed that water meters have not been installed in the properties occupied by civic officers.

A member of the NGO Vivek Velankar said, “The officers of the civic body’s water department admitted that they are yet to install water meters in the properties occupied by municipal commission, additional municipal commissioner and the mayor’s bungalow. I visited the mayor’s bungalow myself and saw water being wasted despite the property being unoccupied.”

Though billing of water consumption is not done in properties occupied by civic officials, Velankar said water meters should be installed to ascertain the consumption. “The PMC should have set an example by first installing water meters at the properties occupied by the civic body’s officers and then reaching out to the common people,” Velankar said, adding, the PMC is harassing the common public.

A PMC officer said, “The civic body is already under pressure to complete the 24×7 water supply project by March 2023 as it is already delayed. The civic body has installed around one lakh meters so far and the work is still on.”

The 24×7 water supply project includes setting up water meters at the premises of all consumers and ensuring equitable water supply to all in the city. However, the PMC has failed to complete even 25 per cent of the project even after starting the project five years back.

Head of PMC’s water supply department Annirudha Pawaskar said, “The PMC has put up hoardings across a dozen prominent locations of the city to encourage citizens to come forward and install water meters at their properties.”

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