Hyderabad has been at the forefront of developing city amenities and infrastructures to cater to the growing needs of citizens. Under Telangana Chief Minister Chandra Sekhar Rao, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) has been given the mandate to secure the water future of Hyderabad and HMWSSB is working in a mission mode to achieve that target, says Dana Kishore, Managing Director, Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board, in conversation with Biswajit Sahoo and Rakesh Kumar Roy of Elets News Network (ENN).
Hyderabad has acquired the image of a global city and the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) has been playing a major role in ensuring operations of citizencentric service modules. What initiatives have been undertaken by HMWSSB for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) areas?
The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) has been mandated to supply potable water to its stakeholders along with planning, designing, construction, maintenance, operation and management of the water supply system. After the formation of GHMC, the mandate to serve around 35 lakh population has been increased to approximately one crore, as the area increased from 164 sq km to 646 sq km. Last year, the Government of Telangana decided to add 190 villages and municipality areas into the HMWSSB fold. It is the biggest challenge to ensure drinking water supply to all and we are happy that HMWSSB has been supplying potable drinking water to 1.25 crore people. To meet these challenges, HMWSSB has taken up augmentation of water supply infrastructure works and initiated Water Supply Distribution Network Project (WSDP) for the peripheral areas of GHMC. HMWSSB has successfully completed 1,800 sq kms of pipeline laying work, and targets to complete this ambitious project six months ahead of the deadline. This project was launched at an estimated cost of Rs 1,900 crores, out of which the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO) has funded Rs 1,700 crores while Rs 200 crore came as the budgetary support from the State government. HMWSSB has constructed 56 big reservoirs.
“JAL App, or ‘Jaldi Action Le’ app, is an internal information system to help linemen capture complaints about water supply, sewage, billing, pollution etc, using their Android smartphones.”
What steps have been taken by HMWSSB to ensure water supply to each household?
The Government of Telangana has launched ‘Mission Bhagiratha’ to ensure supply of potable drinking water to each household. HMWSSB is working on a mission mode to achieve the target. Through this project, drinking water will reach to each poor and underprivileged household at a cost of Re 1 per connection per home. Apart from the HUDCO loan to improve the water supply system in GHMC and Hyderabad area, HMWSSB has earmarked Rs 628 crore to improve the water supply system in 183 ‘gram panchayats’ and seven municipalities in the periphery of Hyderabad. HMWSSB was awarded the project and it plans to complete the work by June 2018 to ensure nearly five lakh households and seven lakh people get potable drinking water.
HMWSSB is also working on securing the future supply of water to the Hyderabad city. Can you elaborate this plan?
Hyderabad has been at the forefront of developing city amenities and infrastructures to cater to the growing needs of citizens. Hussain Sagar and Himayat Sagar were constructed in 1920 to supply water to the Hyderabad city. However, these two water reservoirs now cater only 15 per cent water required by the city. Telangana Chief Minister Chandra Sekhar Rao has given a new vision to HMWSSB to secure the water future of Hyderabad. As per this vision, HMWSSB has drawn up a mega plan to secure water for generations and plans to construct two mega water reservoirs of 20 TMC (thousand million cubic) capacities each on two sides of the city. These reservoirs would supply water from the Godavari and Krishna reservoirs. These two mega projects would ensure that Hyderabad gets a secured water supply for the next 50 years even in less rainfall or drought seasons and meet the water demands adequately on time.
Which initiatives has the Board taken to improve the sewage system of the GHMC cities?
HMWSSB is responsible for the sewage, sewage disposal and sewage treatment works including planning, designing, construction, maintenance, operation and management of all sewage and sewage treatment works under its earmarked area.
What is the role of JAL app in increasing efficiency of HMWSSB? What are the other steps taken to modernise and enhance operations of the system?
JAL App, or ‘Jaldi Action Le’ app, is an internal information system to help linemen capture complaints about water supply, sewage, billing, pollution etc, using their Android smartphones. Launched by HMWSSB last year, it allows capturing of complaints by 500 linemen mobilised in the field through a geo-tagged snapshot. Complaints are immediately relayed to the managers concerned through GPS for taking prompt action. HMWSSB also replaced its software tools with improved dashboard-based software solutions to empower its water managers to address the operation and grievance.
HMWSSB has also taken up GIS mapping of its assets along 2,000 kms stretch initially. The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system has been implemented by HMWSSB in transmission areas of water supply. The board has now plans to expand the distribution system in SCADA. To address the revenue loss due to unaccounted water flow as a major concern, HMWSSB initiated three different pilot areas under smart water grid management to monitor the water supply and flow and user process.
Has HMWSSB initiated any stakeholder consultation approach to bring in trust and transparency to the operation?
The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Sanitation and Sewage Board is the first ever organisation in India which has introduced public monitoring of its citizen services tools through the third party audit process. For the first time, the board has utilised 150 resources to monitor the efficacy of the grievance redress system tools of the Water Board. They were engaged with public directly to gather feedback. Based on their recommendations, HMWSSB has engaged 35 G-MITRAs (Grievance Monitoring and IT Related Assistants) to assist its field functionaries in addressing public grievances and IT empowerment.