Why CMWSSB’s Dial for Water scheme may not be the right solution for Chennaiites

The new scheme launched by Metro Water promising faster delivery through tankers has many loopholes, writes a concerned citizen.

The newly introduced Dial for Water 2.0 scheme by the Metro Water Department is being billed as the panacea for long delays in  water supply, but it could be a classic case of the cure turning out to be worse than the disease.

As per the new scheme, one has to make an on-line payment while booking is made.  This means that only those who have the wherewithal to make on-line payment can make the bookings.

The new scheme says it will not allow a consumer to make further bookings if he does not confirm receipt of the previous supply by indicating the PIN. This means that he can make further bookings if he confirms the previous receipt. Does this not proliferate multiple bookings?

Significantly, as per the scheme, one is almost assured of supply within two/three days.  How is it possible for the CMWSSB to arrange supplies in this manner, when it has faltered earlier? How is it that it has suddenly found so much water? Does it have any link with the advance payment? If indeed it is so, then for those who do not have access to debit/credit cards or modes of online booking, there should be provisions of making the payment by cash at the area offices, based on which bookings may be allowed.

As per the scheme, one is allowed to make bookings through call centres only for 3 kl. Why  is it so? Why cannot the Board allow bookings for other capacity tankers, for example those holding 6 kl and 9 kl?

A consumer living in an independent house can make on-line payment.  In respect of residential apartments, where there will be a number of flats, and where the total amount spent on purchase of water is shared equally, the system of on-line payment could become a deterrent.

As per the guidelines of the new scheme, the Board has stated that the mobile number that was registered for an earlier scheme cannot be used for the new scheme.  This is ridiculous to say the least. How can the Board expect a consumer to have more than one mobile just to make a booking?

The scheme states that in case a consumer, who has made a booking as per the new scheme does not avail of the supply as per schedule, not only will the order be cancelled but he will also not get a refund. However, if Metrowater delays the delivery, it assures the consumer delivery on another day. What this effectively says is that the consumer must bear with sudden tweaks of schedule by the Board, but he cannot expect them to make any kind of adjustments for him.

Instead of simplifying the scheme, the CMWSSB has only complicated the issue by unveiling the said scheme. In view of the difficulties explained as above, it should scrap the new scheme and come up with a more well-thought out  and fair scheme.

I had posted my views on the new scheme on the Facebook page of the CMWSSB.  But this was removed for reasons best known to the Board. Surely, a public utility should face both bouquets and brickbats from the people?


  1. Prakash says:

    I have made the payment for dial for water on the day one, received confirmation sms and pin also and money got deducted from my account, but they have delivered it to someone else and “asked me to rebook as the payment is not successful and we will return the money to your bank” completely cheating the customers and selling it for higher price.

    • JAYARAMAN V S says:

      I would request Mr Prakash to post the above comments in the facebook page of Metrowater – so as to call the bluff.

    • K S RAJAKUMAR says:

      I have made the payment for dial for water on the day one, received confirmation sms and pin also and money got deducted from my account, but they have not delivered.and shows booking not exists

    • C B HARI says:

      I am not getting the OTP as my landline number has been registered in the system – I am not able to change it to my mobile number.

  2. REJI says:

    I had booked water 9000 ltrs on day 1 and promptly got delivery on day 3 as scheduled. My tel no. Is same as old.As far as my experience goes the present scheme is perfect. The previous scheme I booked and waited foe almost 50 days and never received delivery.
    Hats off to CMWSSB for trying to close tge loopholes. Hope they strictly folliw this system.

  3. Sarah Fernandes says:

    From my understanding, even after one confirms delivery of a tanker, next booking can be made only after 7 to 10 days. So no question of multiple bookings.
    Regarding using a number that is already registered. I feel thr circular is not worded correctly. If one has already registered a number, one can go ahead and directly book a tanker. No need to register again. I have experienced this.

    I booked a 12kl tanker on 2nd and paid online. On 4th it was delivered and I was able to confirm delivery with the PIN provided by SMS. I can book against this number and CMC number only after 10 days.

    • Aishwarya says:

      I request the author to check your facts before writing such articles.
      1. People who avail metro can find a way to book online. Those who cant (for example, in slums, where people don’t have sumps to fill, if 10 to 15 families write a letter to metro water, they are arranging it and bringing it in huge sintex tankers in mini trucks.
      2. Regarding ur assumption of proliferation of multiple bookings, I will tell my own experience. Even before the new system came in place, the pin system was existing where we need to submit it to drivers when they deliver it. If the drivers don’t submit the pin in the office, we will not be eligible for the next booking. One time this driver lost the pin which we gave and we suffered hell in the consecutive booking. Now that the consumer himself can update the pin online, there is no need for the mercy of drivers..
      3. Scrapping the offline payment mode has helped consumers from paying huge amt to the drivers in black.
      4. Have u ever tried and booked it over phone even that 3k litres? Online is hassle free.
      5. I stay in flat and if I can book metro water hassle free, it is definitely not deterrent. But it save huge money as aptmt people have to shell huge money to private tankers.
      6. Availing the supply as per schedule – do u know people who order both metro and private tankers had to cancel metro water many times as the delivery time was unknown. Sometimes both private tankers and metro water come simultaneously. Some times private tankers would have just been delivered. So this system is boon that promises prompt delivery.
      On the whole I feel all those people who are not willing to adapt to technology suffer from this new scheme.
      Having stood in queue in metro water office, to begging drivers have mercy on consumers, everything has been done… and this is the most effective system where nobody can cheat the government by indulging in black market. Hats off to this system.

  4. Sarah Fernandes says:

    I hope this initiate by Metrowater will continue so that middle class people like us are able to avail water without falling prey to the exorbitant rates of private players.

    • Michael Susai says:

      I hope this system is discontinued at the earliest and the old system is brought back. At least under the old system I can make a booking and wait for 15 to 20 days. Here I am not even able to make a booking. There is nothing much to gain from the new system – even if you’re lucky enough to make a successful booking, still you’ve to wait for 10 days since delivery to make the next booking. So effectively the waiting time is 2+10 = 12 days

      • Michael Susai says:

        Today I attempted a booking logging in exactly at 10.00 AM, went past the payment screen, payment got debited in my account but finally I get a message that the CMWSSB site took too long to respond. Although the payment got debited still my booking didn’t go through. So this is nothing but a farce of a system. The payment I made was through net banking [reputed private bank]. Yet I’ve been unsuccessful. Metro Water is just not equipped to handle this kind of traffic. I sincerely wish that the old system comes back and I am relieved of going through this ordeal every 3 days and finally going for a private tanker at phenomenal cost. Are the great minds who thought of this system and the others in this blog who are praising the system listening?

  5. T S Sriram says:

    I made this booking as per the rules and got the water within 48 hours as committed. In the earlier system there was an endless wait and anxiety. Really happy to see the new system working for a common person like me. Good job Metro??

  6. Palvannan says:

    Another problem with the online bookings is that the 6k and 9k litre lorries get booked within 5 minutes of opening. It seems an artificial scarcity and rush is created to make more people opt for buying water and also at the same time be thrilled to get a confirmed booking.

  7. Kalyanasundaram Subramanian says:

    I have booked and it was confirmed.expecting delivery on
    5 th

  8. Dean Davey says:

    Sir our flats is in a small lane Masilamani Lane off foxen Street Perambur as per the online booking it says only 9000 liters for flats.Tanker is refusing to come in. Only the 6000 liters can come in freely. Please add 6000 liters to the option list.

  9. Bina Eapen says:

    The hose pipe provided is 20 feet and 40 feet. This is too short for those whose sump is at the back of building. Please provide at least 60 to 70 feet hose pipe.Those who have very small sump have kept Sintex tank on the ground and this 40 feet hosepipe is insufficient. Back to paying exorbitant amounts to private tankers.

  10. lokesh says:

    i have not recived pin. what can i do further?? please help me

  11. chennaite says:

    Few people who get to book it believe it to be perfect! While it all appears rosy, reality will hit you when you see that the booking is over in 10 – 15 – 30 minutes from the booking opening time. For that 30 minutes you need to be clicking on the check status button again and again as the payment queue fills up in just 2 – 3 minutes after opening. Booking window is for example 10 am to 6 pm, how many tankers is the department making available for booking to keep such a window, where is the transparency. Is the department here to serve the citizens or coming up with new version of the Dial For Water which will make it complicated with each version ?

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