The newly introduced Dial for Water 2.0 scheme by the Metro Water Department is being billed as the panacea for long delays in water supply, but it could be a classic case of the cure turning out to be worse than the disease.
As per the new scheme, one has to make an on-line payment while booking is made. This means that only those who have the wherewithal to make on-line payment can make the bookings.
The new scheme says it will not allow a consumer to make further bookings if he does not confirm receipt of the previous supply by indicating the PIN. This means that he can make further bookings if he confirms the previous receipt. Does this not proliferate multiple bookings?
Significantly, as per the scheme, one is almost assured of supply within two/three days. How is it possible for the CMWSSB to arrange supplies in this manner, when it has faltered earlier? How is it that it has suddenly found so much water? Does it have any link with the advance payment? If indeed it is so, then for those who do not have access to debit/credit cards or modes of online booking, there should be provisions of making the payment by cash at the area offices, based on which bookings may be allowed.
As per the scheme, one is allowed to make bookings through call centres only for 3 kl. Why is it so? Why cannot the Board allow bookings for other capacity tankers, for example those holding 6 kl and 9 kl?
A consumer living in an independent house can make on-line payment. In respect of residential apartments, where there will be a number of flats, and where the total amount spent on purchase of water is shared equally, the system of on-line payment could become a deterrent.
As per the guidelines of the new scheme, the Board has stated that the mobile number that was registered for an earlier scheme cannot be used for the new scheme. This is ridiculous to say the least. How can the Board expect a consumer to have more than one mobile just to make a booking?
The scheme states that in case a consumer, who has made a booking as per the new scheme does not avail of the supply as per schedule, not only will the order be cancelled but he will also not get a refund. However, if Metrowater delays the delivery, it assures the consumer delivery on another day. What this effectively says is that the consumer must bear with sudden tweaks of schedule by the Board, but he cannot expect them to make any kind of adjustments for him.
Instead of simplifying the scheme, the CMWSSB has only complicated the issue by unveiling the said scheme. In view of the difficulties explained as above, it should scrap the new scheme and come up with a more well-thought out and fair scheme.
I had posted my views on the new scheme on the Facebook page of the CMWSSB. But this was removed for reasons best known to the Board. Surely, a public utility should face both bouquets and brickbats from the people?