The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) has taken steps to nab water pirates in Colombo and the suburbs, an official said.
“We have established a special unit to nab water pirates. It is headed by a chief engineer in the NWSDB,” Deputy General Manager, Western and Central (NWSDB), Gerard Fonseka said.
Nearly 120 such illegal water tappers in Colombo are nabbed every month by the NWSDB. There has been no need to implement such programmes in the other districts since complaints regarding tapping of water have not been reported from these areas, he said.
Once the water pirates are caught, the NWSDB would demand that they pay the fines within a given period of time and in the case of not obliging, legal action would be initiated.
According to Fernando, water has been pilfered either by tampering with the meters or obtaining water illegally. He further requested the public to inform the NWSDB about water pirates on their hot line (1939).
Source: Pabodha Hettige, The Island, 18 Jul 2011
Two separate pollution incidents have hit the drinking water supply of the Chinese city of Hangzhou (pop. 9 million), Zhejiang Province, in the beginning of June 2011.
In the first incident, the drinking water supply of more than half a million people was cut off when phenol (carbolic acid) spilled into the Xin’an river, creating a run on bottled water. A tanker truck carrying 20 tons of phenol, which had broken down, was hit by another truck as it was being repaired. The crash ruptured the tanker truck’s chemical tank and the leaked phenol was washed by rain into the river, which is one of the sources of Hangzhou’s drinking water.
Authorities temporarily shut down water plants and released extra water from nearby dams to dilute the spill. The concentration of carbolic acid near the accident site remained at more than 900 times the safe drinking level. Despite reassurances that drinking water in Hangzhou itself was safe, residents rushed to buy bottled water, leaving shelves in some supermarkets empty.
Despite a significant increase in public water supply, one million families in Chennai, about a third of the city’s population, rely on sachets, PET bottles and cans of water for daily consumption. Sales of packaged water continue to soar in a state that already has 680 licensed private drinking water units.
The sale of packaged water has shot up to 6 million litres per day from 4 million litres in 2010, according to the Tamil Nadu Packaged Drinking Water Association. Now even consumers in low-income groups are purchasing water cans and sachets. At least 3.5 million litres of water are sold in cans every day.
Complaints about irregular supply and poor water quality are rife in several of Chennai’s residential areas.
Said S Anand, a resident of Gandhi Nagar in Pulianthope, “The water supply from the community tap is not sufficient to meet domestic needs. If the water is not tapped during high pressure, it stinks. It is wiser to spend money on good quality water than pay a huge sum at the hospital, later.” Areas like Korukkupet, Pulianthope, Choolai, Pattalam and Jamalia face complaints of poor quality water. In several homes, bubble top water containers have found [a] permanent place in the kitchens.
Prices for packed water range between 25 and 80 rupees (US$ 0.56 to US$ 1.78) for 20 litres.
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Source: Julie Mariappan, Times of India, 12 Apr 2011
The Delhi Jal Board (city water board) has approved levying sewerage development charges on those premises which do not have a DJB water connection, or have a cut-off connection, but discharge sewage into its sewer system.
The monthly levy will be in the range of 150 to 2,500 Indian rupees [US$ 3.30 to US$ 55] depending on the size of the premises.
Property owner who clear outstanding dues within the next three months would get a 20 percent rebate on sewerage development charges.
The board also decided to set up a ‘Sewer Gang’ force in every constituency to deal with blockages in sewer lines.
The board announced an amnesty scheme for regularisation of unauthorised water connections on payment of 500 India rupees (US$ 11) instead of the regular fee of 3,000 India rupees (US$ 66).
Officials said DJB charges sewer charges for three years to regularise an unauthorised connection but under the scheme fees for only six months will be levied.
The board also decided to extend a special scheme till March 31  under which a certain segment of consumers was given upto 70 per cent rebate on their outstanding dues last year.
The board also approved installation of multi jet meters on its major water pipelines.
The Board is calling in the private sector to privatise billing and meter installation, starting in South Delhi. In the new system, customers will be able to pay their bills online. Private parties will be responsible for installing new water meters and for maintenance of the meters for the coming five years.
Source: Indian Express, 14 Jan 2011
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has approved a INR 1.27 billion (US$ 28 million) project to tackle the drinking water problem in Mahendragarh district of Haryana state.
The project will supply water to 64 water-starved villages and 34 dhanies (clusters) at a rate of 60 litres per capita per day.
A Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) spokesperson said that drinking water supply facilities had been improved in 4,925 villages during the past six years. Free water connections had been given to 779,148 Scheduled Caste households in rural areas and 138,793 in urban areas under the Indira Gandhi Drinking Water Supply Scheme.
The Naandi Foundation has provided reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment plants in 100 villages in the districts of Mahendragarh, Jhajjar, Kaithal and Mewat under a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative with Tata Projects. Safe drinking water was being supplied at a rate of ten paise (0.22 US dollar cents) per litre.
Source: UNI, New Kerala, 14 Jan 2011
In the wake of President Obama’s visit to India, AP journalist Ravi Nessman writes that “he will find a country of startlingly uneven development and perplexing disparities, where more people have cell phones than access to a toilet”.
Interestingly, Nessman ends his article by suggesting that the spread of cell phones could empower slum dwellers to demand better sanitation services.
The Mumbai slum of Rafiq Nagar has no clean water for its shacks made of ripped tarp and bamboo. No garbage pickup along the rocky, pocked earth that serves as a road. No power except from haphazard cables strung overhead illegally.
And not a single toilet or latrine for its 10,000 people.
Yet nearly every destitute family in the slum has a cell phone. Some have three.
It is a country buoyed by a vibrant business world of call centers and software developers, but hamstrung by a bloated, corrupt government that has failed to deliver the barest of services.
A recent amendment to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) Act enables the board to take tough action against water theft and meter tampering. So far the BWSSB has booked criminal cases against 15 violators and subsequently disconnected their water supply. Another 24 violators will soon face the same fate.
The amended BWSSB Act has new sections 108A and 108B to deal with water theft and bring in stringent measures to curb meter tampering. This allows the board to book violators and punish the guilty with a three-year jail term or with a penalty of Rs. 5,000 [US$ 320] depending on the dimension of the site. The penalty includes the cost of meter and arrears, the press release said.
Called the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage and Certain other laws (Amendment) Bill 2009, the amendment was approved by Governor on April 14 and the gazette notification issued on April 16.
Source: The Hindu, 10 Sep 2010
A bank in Pokhara is said to be the first in Nepal to provide collateral-free loans to people to get a piped water supply connection. All the bank requires is consent from the neighbours.
Kamana Development Bank is providing loans to the poor consumers of Lekhnath municipality who can not afford to get a water supply connection on their own. “We are providing a facility to those who cannot afford for pipeline connection at once,” said Umesh Acharya, Chief Executive Officer of the bank, adding, “We do not ask for any collateral, but we only need consent of the neighbours.”
Lekhnath Small Town Water Supply Project is charging Rs. 15,100 [US$ 200] for a new pipeline connection and the bank is providing loan facility to the people who cannot pay the total cost at once. According to Acharya, the bank is providing a 2-year loan covering 80 percent of the total connection cost.
Interest rates, according to the bank’s website, are 15-19%.
Chandra Krishna Karmacharya, president, Water Supply Consumers Committee said, “With this kind of facility, people will not have to be deprived of drinking water just because of financial problem.”
Source : Kantipur / NGO Forum, 25 Jul 2010
Like many big cities in the developing world, the city of Jakarta, with a population of nine million people, is struggling to provide clean water to all its residents. In some poor neighborhoods international organizations like Mercy Corps and its Communal Master Meter project (small community-managed piped water system), are trying to help. However, their impact is minimal because the infrastructure problems are so complex and expensive to fix.
See the VOA News video of this story.
Posted in Financing, Indonesia, Sustainable services, Water distribution
Tagged Communal Master Meter project, Jakarta, low-income communties, Mercy Corps, S1006-Asia, small piped water networks, unaccounted for water, urban water supply, water mafia, water supply charges