JUSCO is known as benchmark Utilities service provider in the Nation for the last many years and is constantly striving for excellence to provide improved services to its valued consumers. In pursuance to these JUSCO has considered for consumer metering for water services for all its customers with an aim to optimise the consumption of water and pay as per consumers’ affordability. This initiative also aims at moving towards 24x7 water supply from a regime of intermittent supply as exists today. This service level improvement would provide the consumer an excellent quality of water on 24 hr basis and also an economic incentive to conserve the extremely scarce natural resources.
Water metering of consumer holding is a nationwide initiative being implemented in all urban cities. In Jamshedpur, metering practice has been implemented by JUSCO in phased manner commencing with production source metering, network metering and now the paying consumer metering. The objective of this initiative is to identify and reduce losses in terms of leakages, unauthorised tapping etc. and improve efficiency in service delivery.
For company owned residential buildings, where company’s employees live, it is the prerogative of the company and not the Utilities to decide the tariff and also individual metering for its employees. As a Utilities, JUSCO charges industrial tariff to these companies which is much higher than domestic tariff and water is supplied as bulk through a bulk water meter. The company subsequently distributes the water to their employees at their own cost.
Considering the issues that were raised during the installation of water meter, we have worked out a few options for people to choose from so that the paying consumers of the city are subjected to minimum financial burden towards this important metering initiative.
Option I – Under this option, irrespective of the category of consumers, if the consumer can afford to pay the cost of meter upfront they are at liberty to do so. After the upfront payment of the meter cost by the consumers, JUSCO would bear all future expenditure towards repairs / replacement of the meters. However, consumer has to pay Rs.25/- per month for 15 mm meter size and Rs.50/- per month for 20 mm meter size as meter service charge.
Option II - Consumer can opt for an instalment mode also for installing consumer meter. This is applicable only to domestic consumers. Under this mode any subsequent expenditure in future towards repairs / replacement of the meter would be borne by JUSCO. However, meter service charge will be applicable as mentioned in Option I above.
Option III – Introduction of meter rental charge
For Domestic Individual Consumer: Water Meter cost will be borne by JUSCO for all categories of domestic consumers. However, consumers will have to pay Rs.500/- upfront and Rs.50/- per month as meter rental cum meter maintenance cost for 15 mm size meter connection whereas for 20 mm size upfront payment will be Rs.1000/- and Rs.65/- per month as meter rental cum maintenance cost.
Option I & II are the existing practice. Based on the requirements coming from certain sections of the society and requests made from various NGOs, we are introducing Option I also. All three options are open to people and consumers can choose any one that suits their convenience.
For Bulk Domestic / Institutional / Commercial / Industrial Consumer: For these consumers, the meter cost would be borne by them and the meter service charge would be fixed as per the agreement with the consumer.
Unauthorised additional water connection
We also find that many of our authorised consumers have advertently or inadvertently additional water connection(s) which is not in our records. This normally gets exposed when we approach them to provide water meter and a penalty of 36 months bill is charged on them.
We are announcing a fifteen day amnesty starting tomorrow to such consumers to declare their unauthorised connection to GM (Water Management), JUSCO, to avoid paying this penalty. This scheme is open till 26 March 2008.
Water Tariff and water connection charge
Beyond the Tata Lease Area, no infrastructure existed to provide piped drinking water service and it was essential to create the infrastructure first and then provide the service. Also, JUSCO had not initiated these water supply projects beyond Tata Lease Area of their own. On peoples’ demand and also having got instructions from Local Administration, JUSCO initiated these projects. For last 4 years JUSCO has provided more than 9000 water connections under a Corporate-Citizen Partnership model covering more than 60000 population of the town, those who were deprived of this service for more than 50 years. These areas are Vidyapati Nagar, Namda Bustee, Ramdeo Bagan, Vijay Nagar, Jhagru Bagan, Bajrangi Bagan, Shiv Singh Bagan, Laxmi Nagar, Prem Nagar, Debun Bagan, Nand Nagar, Nehru Colony, Uliyan, Bhatia Bustee, Shastri Nagar, C. Town Gurudwara Bustee etc. The model that we are following to provide water services to these areas is based on investments in two parts viz;
The cost of these projects is on actual basis and without adding any kind of margin whatsoever. In fact, provision of these services actually is increasing the deficit on Tata Steel significantly. However, as a part of corporate social responsibility we have decided to extend these services beyond Tata Lease Area and it is clearly not a Business proposition by JUSCO.
Options for Water connection charge: In order to minimize the financial burden on consumers, we are proposing the following options for water connection charge:
We would request you all to kindly give this wide publicity in your esteemed publication.