In order to ensure the judicious usage of water, the Chennai Metrowater has expedited the work to fit digital water meters with automated meter reading (AMR) in commercial properties in the city.
As of now, around 5,300 commercial properties using water more than 5,000 kilolitres including hotels, industries, and educational institutions have been provided with the AMR meters. The remaining properties of the total of 12,708 will be provided with the facility soon.
According to Metrowater officials, the software for automated reading is in the development process. The software, once developed, will enable officers to read and monitor water meters and raise bills from their area and head offices.
An official said that the smart meters are being procured from Hitron, a French company. In the second phase of the exercise more commercial establishments will be identified for the installation of smart meters and possibly the process will be expanded to cover domestic consumers as well.
The project is taken under the Smart City Mission at a cost of Rs 9.5 crore. The initiative will help incorporating a behavioral change among the citizens to track their water consumption and pay as per the amount of water consumed.
The Metrowater has begun billing as per volumetric consumption and soon engineers will not have to go door-to-door to raise bills or read meters.
In addition, Metrowater has earmarked Rs 5 crore to install smartcard-based water dispensers in some of the filling posts that were not covered during the first phase of the Smart City project.