According to a Metro Water official, the proposed API system would integrate GPS fixed in the tanker lorries and smart card enabled water filling posts across the city. “If any driver deviates from the route chart prepared by the Metro Water, the API will receive information from the GPS device fixed in the tanker lorries. Based on the received information, API will block the smart cards provided to the lorries. The deviated drivers can not fill water at the filling posts again,” the official said.
A few months ago, the water manager had installed smart meters at filling posts to control and monitor water flow into the tankers. Presently, Metro Water has 191 tanker filling posts in 41 filling stations.
The official explained that the tanker drivers should use smart cards given to them at the filling posts to get water. They can only get the exact amount of water (6,000 litres or 9000 litres) as per the contract and the smart cards ensure that no excess water is let into the tankers.
“We received information from the public that some tankers deviate from their chart and sell water to private persons instead of distributing the water to residents. Once the smart card is blocked, the drivers and the lorry owners should answer us and their cards will be unblocked only if they provide satisfactory reasons,” the official said.
Even though Metro Water has around 800 tankers of varied capacities, the API system would be installed in 575 of them during the first phase. The water manager uses the tanker lorries to supply drinking water to the tail-end areas, where piped water supply is insufficient.
“We are installing the API in fewer lorries as the need for water has reduced due to good storage levels in the lakes. Based on the performance of the API system, it will be extended to other lorries,” the official said.