Managing resources: Time to start turning the tap off

Punjab government to install water meters in five large cities


Imran Adnan February 08, 2017
PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: To avoid wastage of water and increase revenues, the Punjab government is mulling over installing water meters in five large cities of the province at an estimated cost of Rs7.94 billion.

Water and sanitation agencies (WASAs) of Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi and Gujranwala will start installing the meters in the current financial year, official documents available with The Express Tribune show.

The project has been included in the medium term five-year plan and will be funded through the annual development programmes (ADP) from 2016-17 till 2019-2020.

Lahore WASA Deputy Managing Director (Engineering) Chaudhry Aftab Ahmed said the agency had submitted its proposals to the Punjab Planning and Development Department and would start rolling out the project after approval and provision of funds.

Punjab Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Moazzam, in a meeting held for deliberations on the project on Wednesday, said the proposal was presented in the pre-PDWP (Provincial Development Working Party) in which the department had asked for some clarification about the project. “Hopefully, the project would be presented in the upcoming PDWP meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday,” he added. Documents indicate the water supply metering project will help agencies in increasing their revenues and improve service delivery.

The water agencies of the five cities are currently operating on a fixed tariff system for water and do not have the actual estimate of usage. The fixed tariff also results in negative effects like wasteful water use and difficulty in billing according to the received amount of water.

Under the flat tariff regime, consumers do not bother to avoid water wastage. Hence, the areas at the end of the supply system (tail areas) receive lower pressure that ultimately causes water shortage.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2017.

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