In a city where 30% of the houses do not have tap water supply and almost half the houses which get tap water are not charged, the project aims to offer 24x7 supply to all households. It also plans to decrease the non-revenue houses to under 20% in five years.
All Indian cities face the challenge of providing 24x7 water supply to its citizens. Un-billed households and poor water quality only add to the problems. With its PPP model, Nagpur is attempting to show the way.
In 2009, in an experiment under JNNURM, the Nagpur Municipal Council (NMC) undertook a pilot project in Nagpur
providing 24x7 water supply to 10,000 households spread over 10 water distribution zones. The project helped reduce non-revenue water connections from 52% to 27%.
Encouraged by the project, in 2010, the NMC decided to bring in a private operator to take care of the water supply, infrastructure management and revenue collections. All water-related assets and services were transferred to a new NMC subsidiary called Nagpur EnvironmentalServices Ltd. (NESL). The subsidiary then picked Orange City Water (OCW is a 50:50 joint venture between Vishvaraj Environment and French MNC Veolia) as the operator for the project.
All the assets are owned by the Urban Local Body (ULB) i.e. NMC and the tariff too is decided by it. The operator has the responsibility to build, upgrade and maintain water infrastructure in the city, ensure 24x7 water supply at certain quality levels, issue bills and collect revenue from the users. It gets paid on the basis of units of water it bills and collects. The project cost is estimated at around 450 crore, part of which comes from the JNNURM and Orange City chips in the balance.