By K M Mian
LAHORE: The Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has decided to install 711,265 smart water meters in Lahore in order to control water scarcity threat, conservation of water and minimise water pumping cost, Daily The Business has learnt.
This decision was taken at the second meeting of the public-private partnership policy and monitoring board held under the chair of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar here late Friday. The meeting also approved procurement, installation and maintenance of water meters.
According to the minutes of the meeting, a copy of which is available with The Business, a total of 711,265 connections, including 93 per cent domestic and seven per cent commercial, would be installed in the metropolitan city. The document also revealed that the project worth Rs 10.353 billion would be completed within two years.
A senior official of WASA told The Business that the smart water meters will be issued to all nine towns of the city according to their registered numbers of water connections. The concerned town officers would be responsible for its execution. The official said that the estimated cost of smart meter cast is Rs 4,080 for domestic consumers while Rs 9,600 for commercial consumers.
He further stated that the consumers would pay the cost of meters in two years. The WASA would recover these charges from both domestic and commercial consumers through per month billing of Rs 170 and Rs 400 respectively during the project period. However, the cost of meters would be immediately paid by the private partners with 80 per cent share and the government with 20 per cent contribution, the official told.
It is pertinent to mention here that every consumer would be charged according to its consumption of water as well the domestic consumers would be paid Rs 0.80 per gallon (per unit equals to per gallon consumption), Rs 1.50 for schools and Rs 1.50 for commercial consumers, he explained.
While talking to this scribe Managing Director WASA Syed Zahid Aziz said the smart metering project would enable WASA to recover 40 per cent revenue from its non-revenue water (losses due to billing without meters).
The Managing Director maintained that the project would also help control illegal water connections and per capita water consumption, irresponsible use of water, increasing underground water level and water conservation in Lahore.
He also claimed that not only this project would reduce per month billing cost of the consumers but also be made them responsible for usage of water according to their needs.