Rajkot civic body wants power cut during

In an attempt to curb water theft and tide over drinking water situation, Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) has requested Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL) to snap power supply in the city while it distributes water. The exercise is likely to begin in a week's time.

The civic body supplies water for 20 minutes every alternate day.

Civic officials say they have been forced to take this somewhat "coercive" step after other measures to tackle the menace of water theft did not yield desired results even as water level in Aji dam, the main source of water for the city, has hit rock-bottom.

RMC distributes more than 150 million liters per day (MLD) water. However, the city is completely dependent on Narmada water as other local reservoirs have dried up.

The move is targeted at those who draw water from distribution lines of RMC by using electric pumps during distribution hours. This results in downstream households getting insufficient or no water at all, civic officials say.

"We are conducting checking drives to detect water thefts. In most of the cases, people use electric pumps to draw additional water. We have seized hundreds of such pumps. But as these pumps are cheaper in the city, their seizure has not acted as a deterrent. Hence, we have been forced to request power outage," municipal commissioner Ajay Bhadu told The Indian Express on Tuesday.

The commissioner said they had done mapping of various areas in all three zones based on the complaints of people getting no water or at low pressure and that they had identified more than 200 localities where the problem was serious.

"We have requested PGVCL to stop power supply while we distribute water in a particular area. Though the move will affect their revenue, PGVCL authorities have agreed to cooperate to help tide over the tight drinking water situation in the city," Bhadu further said.

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