MoM - Meeting with Mr. Thippeswamy

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Attendees: Shekhar Mittal, Jim Gowda, Zenrainman Sir, Manjari Vishnoi, Neha Dar


We met Mr Thippeswamy, Retd. Chief Engineer (BWSSB) on Saturday at IISc. Meeting minutes captured below.

  • Mr. Thippeswamy reviewed our initial list of parameters and had the following remarks:       

             (1) Coverage - As per the Act, BWSSB must provide water supply to Bangalore Metropolitan Area. Only 50% has been covered.

             (2) Unaccounted for Water: This is really a subset of Non-revenue water. Both physical and commercial. Water is also lost due to cleaning of reservoirs, unexpected pipe bursts, supply to fire hydrants, etc.

             (3) Slum Coverage: It is not the BWSSB 's prerogative to proactively provide coverage to slums. Slum Clearance Boards/BBMP/BDA come to them with proposals, which they then implement.

             (4) Quality Parameters: Water quality is tested at three levels - Raw Water, Distribution Water, Treated Water. Water is treated at the source (Cauvery) where all 33 parameters specified in the BIS document are tested. In addition, water is also tested at some reservoirs and other end points. Here, it is tested for only a few parameters like turbidity, pH, conductivity, residual chlorine, and bacterial contamination. The BWSSB also tests 1000 samples (some chosen strategically, others randomly) using two mobile units. [Note: Any BWSSB water sample can be tested for free. Borewell samples may also be tested, but these tests will have to be paid for.]

             (5) Operating Ratio and Working Ratio are a good way to measure financial viability of the BWSSB.

             (6) Citizen complaints and response time are also tracked by the BWSSB.

             (7) We need a parameter to track efficiency in terms of automation / IT adoption.

             (8) Need a parameter to track transparency. BWSSB is reqd to put up reports periodically. Are these accessible?


  • The two biggest issues we should fuel advocacy towards (since these issues, if addressed by the BWSSB, will have the biggest impact on water health) are (1) separation of storm water and sewage water drains (2) unaccounted for water.


  • Mr Thippeswamy recommended that we look up the following documents:

                 (1) ADB reports - We can google these, or else procure them from him.

                 (2) BWSSB's Annual Performance Report - should be up on their site.

                 (3) Effective Water Utility Management - Lists 10 important parameters, excellent report he says.

                 (4) JNNURM benchmarks


  • Next Step: Engage with BWSSB by writing to the Chairman and PRO of the BWSSB, requesting for info. on parameters. If this doesn't work out, we go the RTI route.


slum coverage??

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"(3) Slum Coverage: It is not the BWSSB 's prerogative to proactively provide coverage to slums. Slum Clearance Boards/BBMP/BDA come to them with proposals" Was really surprised at this statement , coming out of BWSSB.This has been one of the real bane of water distribution, that water requirements of low income/ slums are not "proactively" met with by BWSSB. At a technical level , they are quite happy to provide a few common taps, and say their obligations are over. Lying actual pipelines in slums is difficult no doubt , but authorities take the easy way out. There are many other solutions, from a every house connection to a few families going for one connection and sharing. The index must look at this slum /low income connectiveity beyond a surface level.Left to BWWSB , a couple of taps in a slum and they will say the area is covered. vmenon

(7) We need a parameter to

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(7) We need a parameter to track efficiency in terms of automation / IT adoption.

I am assuming you mean efficiency DUE to automation and not efficiency IN automation.

Typically ROI is used for monetary returns but you could try (Post automation revenue - pre automation revenue/cost of automation)*100. Call it automation revenue efficiency. Of course you will need to take amortized automation costs that accrue to the revenue period in consideration and more importanty unlike general financial ratios you have to measure revenue as generated by the instruments that were automated. Not entire BWSSB revenue.

More sensible approach would be. Automation will help achieve gains in multiple parameters like lower water loss, better monitoring, lower operating cost, etc. If you calculate efficiency in each of those parameters associated with automation and make a ratio you may get an index. But the gains should be attributable purely to automation in that case.

OTOH If you meant efficiency IN automation ie how much automation has been deployed regardless of how effective they may have made BWSSB, you could simply find a ratio of automated processes vs non automated processes.

Some supply chain gurus used to frequent this site. Their gyan might be useful here.