May 29: The newly constituted Guwahati Jal Board has started working on various innovative ideas, including a prepaid water control circuit system to prevent wastage of drinking water in the city.
Sources told The Telegraph that chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who is in charge of Guwahati development department, has asked the board to function on the lines of the Delhi Jal Board to ensure efficient distribution of drinking water to city residents round the clock.
Senior bureaucrat Prateek Hajela, who heads the board, recently met the chief minister and discussed how the board would function in the coming days.According to sources, a prepaid water control circuit system is a mechanism that supplies water when there are certain amounts of prepaid units in the control circuit system and terminates water supply when the units are exhausted.Under this system, a customer will have to purchase a separate prepaid credit card with values of credit units encoded in it.
“The units will be loaded into the control circuit system which will allow water usage. When the units will be exhausted, the control circuit system will cut off water automatically until recharged with new units. The board is studying such a system and its benefits. After discussion it with experts the board will take the final call,” the source said.
A Guwahati Municipal Corporation official said besides earning direct income by selling the prepaid credit cards the system would create great awareness in the customer’s water consumption habits.
In 2008, the Assam Assembly had passed the Jal Board Act. The setting up of the current board was Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) precondition for providing Rs 1,000-crore loan for a water supply project in the city.
Dispur also felt that setting up the board was mandatory because there had to be a single agency that would look after water supply. Multiple agencies would make the task much more difficult.
“The drinking water scenario in the city is expected to change dramatically after completion of the three water supply projects that have been undertaken by the state government with funding from the Centre under JNNURM, JICA and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The projects are likely to be completed within two to three years and the chief minister wants the board to then ensure efficient supply of drinking water across the state with various innovative and effective measures,” the source said.