E-metering: An end to BWSSB’s woes?
The latest Machine to Machine (M2M) technology offers a solution to the water pilferage problem that is plaguing Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) ever since its inception.
Around 36 per cent of the 870 million litres of water supplied per day by the BWSSB is unaccounted, which means 313.2 MLD of water goes unaccounted every day and only 556.8 MLD legally reaches the public.
The minimum price for every kilolitre is Rs 6. Even if the minimum costs are calculated for the unaccounted water, BWSSB is losing Rs 18.79 lakh every day and around Rs 5.64 crore a month.
In its efforts to check water pilferage, BWSSB has constituted a Revenue Enforcement Cell. The Cell has so far traced water pilferage worth Rs 36 crore, but that is just the tip of an iceberg.
It is impossible to trace all cases if the present methods are adopted.
M2M technology, which has been developed by Connect-M, can also be called E-metering, and might just be the end for all BWSSB’s woes. If this technology is adopted, pre-programmed gadgets called Radio Frequency Modules (RFM) would be fitted to all the water meters, which can either be mechanical or digital. The RFMs regularly transmit the meter readings and other details to the Aggregators, which would be installed for every 100 meters. The Aggregators in turn will transmit this data to the servers, that can be placed in any specified location, through GPRS.
By sitting near the server one can easily trace how much water is being consumed in any particular house, area or a division and monthly bills can be sent without even manual reading of the meters.
The RFMs will also inform the server if the meter is not functioning properly.
Therefore, the water meters can be repaired immediately without any delay.
RFMs will 'inform' the server if an attempt is made to tamper or manipulate the wat e r meters or RFMs. The RFMs will function with the help of a durable battery.
Murali Ramalingam, CEO of Connect- M, admitted that the technology is priced on the higher side but comes down to nothing when compared to losses incurred by BWSSB. The same technology can be used to monitor the electricity pilferage also.
BWSSB Chief Engineer Venkat Raju said that there is a defect in the technology, which needs to be tested.
“When there is a power failure the aggregators cannot transmit data.” BWSSB intends to consider the system only after the firm installs the technology somewhere.