To curb pilferage and ensure better transparency in the water tanker services, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had decided to install Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in privately hired carriers.
However, apart from other anomalies in the distribution system, the monitoring system continues to be in limbo. This startling revelation was made by none other than the leader of the house - Prashant Dalvi who represents the BJP which single-handedly rules the civic body.
Apart from allegations of lack of GPS devices, Dalvi in his letter to the civic chief, has pointed out various discrepancies’ in the system and violation of contract conditions including - tankers operating sans mandated road clearances and above all rusty interiors of water tanks which could trigger hazardous chemical reaction while ferrying potable drinking water to citizens.
“I have asked the civic chief to probe the matter and blacklist the concerned contractor for violating tender clauses,” said Dalvi. “From 150 per day the demand has gone down to an average of 60 to 70 tankers. Till now we have not received any complaint from citizens about tankers being diverted as every drop of water released from the sole tanker point is metered. However we will check the status of GPS and condition of tankers,” said an official from the water supply wing.
The MBMC has deployed a private contractor to ferry water from the tanker filling point in Bhayandar to various destinations across the twin-city. While Rs.1,000 ( buildings) and Rs. 500 (slums) is charged per tanker from the end user, the private operator gets Rs 585 per trip. It is mandatory for every water tanker hired by the MBMC to install GPS devices to keep track of routes and record real-time information of the movement and frequency of tankers.
However, with no proper monitoring system, there have been allegations of the operator being hand-in-glove with the notorious water mafia to inflate the number of trips on the virtue of manipulated records. This apart from in-transit thefts via transfer of water to smaller tankers.