National Urban Water and Sanitation Awards
Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply And Sewerage Board (CMWSSB)
Accounting Reforms
Background & Objective
Computerization of accounting, billing and collection in CMWSSB was extended to all the 10 area offices and other unit offices, but was offline. Under this backdrop, it was proposed to improve the system by networking the computers in the depot offices, area offices, head office etc., and making the data available online.
An online billing and collection system was taken up at Area V office, 19 depot offices and financial accounting section in head office, and store accounting. The payments made were immediately updated in the central server at the head office, and the reports could be generated either at Area V office, the stores, or the head office. All the financial accounting systems were integrated using Oracle ERP, and various stages of bill processing and payments of bills were integrated through the LAN at the head office. An online complaint-monitoring system was also implemented in the head office, area office-V and its depot offices. After gaining knowledge in the pilot project, the same was replicated in other 9 area offices and the respective depot offices.

All the billing and collection records were migrated to the Oracle ERP system. Grievances with regard to water tax and charge are also received online from the consumers and are redressed immediately. A complaint monitoring system under the Oracle ERP system was established to escalate the complaint to the next higher officer automatically if the complaint is not addressed within the specified time limit. Hence the senior officers would view the complaints.

All the stores have been interlinked with the central server at the head office using Oracle Inventory module which enables them to know the availability of the stock position (age-wise analysis, ABC analysis etc.) and can plan purchases accordingly. All the bill-passing sections such as supplies, contract and expenses at area offices and head office have been interlinked using the Oracle ERP system - Accounts Payable Module.

Tariffs have been fixed by the board for water supply and secondary treated sewage water. All water and sewer lorries are hired by adopting the tender procedure. Water distribution stations and sewage pumping stations have also been privatized in addition to the O&M of operations of Veeranam project. Similarly, O&M of WTP at Chembaramaakkam has also been privatized.
Output & Outcomes
  • Due to interconnectivity, consumers can pay at any of the 161 collection points, 19 area offices, or the head office, irrespective of the location of the property of the consumer.
  • The outstanding dues of the consumers in respect of water supply charges and taxes can be viewed at any place and also on the board's website.
  • Besides cash, cheque, demand draft, credit cards and VISA/Master cards can be used to make payment of water taxes and charges.
  • Procedures such as billing, collection and complaints can be easily monitored.
  • More accountability and transparency in operation.
  • Paper work has been reduced, and status of a bill can be monitored at any time.
  • Due to privatization, there are cost savings to the board, besides efficiency in operations:
    • Privatised 3 out of 4 WTPs with 10% cost savings
    • Privatised 12 out of 16 water distribution stations with 30% cost savings
    • Hired tanker lorries with cost savings of 18.5%
    • Privatised 6 STPs with 33% Cost savings and 129 sewage pumping stations with 50% savings
    • All activities of one depot office privatized with 25% cost savings.

For further details, contact:
Mr. Shiv Das Meena, IAS
Managing Director

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