To prevent wastage of water, a city-based residential society has decentralised its water billing system. Amisha Cooperative Housing in Charkop, Kandivali, launched ‘Jal Bachao’ mission way back in 2017 by installing a unique wireless meter in each flat to measure daily household consumption. Society secretary Manubhai Patel said their annual water bill charges have dropped steadily. He claimed Amisha CHS is the first housing society in Mumbai to install such household meters.
Patel said though the overhead tanks are filled with water supplied by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), meters have been fixed in all 84 flats to record household consumption for which residents pay annual charges. Earlier their BMC bill was divided equally amongst all flat members, irrespective of the consumption.
“After the meters were installed, families started using water more cautiously,” he said, adding that the consumption has reduced by 50 percent and the overall charges have fallen by 60 per cent. He also said that the overall cost of setting up the meters was around Rs 13 lakh and each flat paid between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,000.
Patel said wastage was earlier also linked to leakages, but within one year of installing the meters more than 40 flat members carried out repairs of leakages they were unaware of.
Water experts and urban planners who have been following this case study for past many years have said that this unique method of decentralised metering can be included in the recent Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) project.
Ambassador of state government’s Majhi Vasundhara campaign, Subhajit Mukherjee said he will be taking this case study to the BMC administration and state environmental department.
“This is a game changing initiative. Over the last four years, one single housing society has saved tonnes of water. Imagine how much water could be saved if this is implemented across the city,” Mukherjee told FPJ on Friday. He said he has been following up this issue with the members of the society and has noticed that they have entirely stopped taking water from water tankers on which they were earlier dependent.
The BMC recently launched the MCAP which focuses on fresh water consumption and monitoring. A senior BMC official closely associated with MCAP said they may include this initiative in the final draft. He said, “We are still conducting research and assessing multiple points. This is a good initiative and can be implemented across the city after studying the details thoroughly.”