Consumers to get SMS alerts on water supply timings

Consumers to get SMS alerts on water supply timings

Consumers will soon get SMS alerts about water supply timings in their areas as the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has tied up with a private agency to provide such a facility.

The new project is aimed at not only providing information to consumers but also to keep tabs on the working of valvemen who play a major role in supplying water. The Board has tied up with Next Drop Smart Water System Pvt Ltd to execute the project.

According to the plan, all the valvemen of BWSSB will have to call the toll-free number of Next Drop and provide information about opening and closing of the valve. They will also have to report if they are not able to operate the valve and details of water leakages, a senior BWSSB official said.

Next Drop will train the valvemen to key in options to an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Valvemen will have to call the toll-free number and select the right option to update his activity. Next Drop in turn will send SMSes to the consumers about the timings of water supply and also disruption in supply, if any.

The system has already started functioning in BWSSB’s North-East sub-division where valvemen from Malleswaram, Srirampura and Yeshwantpur have started updating the information to the IVR system.

Many consumers have started receiving SMSes from Next Drop about the water supply timings. Each consumer’s contact number will be attached to their respective BWSSB RR numbers to update them through SMS.

Bindu Sushil, project director, Next Drop said they have already trained 95 of the 500-odd valvemen in the City.

They have also collected contact numbers of around 2,000 consumers to whom SMSes are being sent regularly. Next Drop has won an award from GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association) who have given grants to execute this project. We are planning to enrol at least 50 per cent of BWSSB consumers under this project in the coming days,” Sushil added.

For now, Next Drop is still in the process of training the valvemen and collecting contact numbers of the consumers.  Once the entire format gets streamlined, con­su­mers will also have the option of sending their complaints through SMS.

They can even report any leakages by taking a picture and sending it to the same number, added a BWSSB official.

Manish, a consumer, said the new facility will bring some transparency in water supply system  “In my area, the valvemen are bribed to ensure that water is supplied without any problem. The new system can break the nexus of valvemen,” he added.

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