Data leak fear hampers PMC's water survey

Siddharth Gadkari
Tuesday, 28 August 2018

It seems after taking a note from data leak cases which continue to rock the world, majority of Puneites are simply refusing to share their personal information even with agencies appointed by the PMC. This was revealed during a door to door survey project being carried out by the civic body for the implementation of 24x7 equitable and uninterrupted water supply project.

Pune: It seems after taking a note from data leak cases which continue to rock the world, majority of Puneites are simply refusing to share their personal information even with agencies appointed by the PMC. This was revealed during a door to door survey project being carried out by the civic body for the implementation of 24x7 equitable and uninterrupted water supply project. The civic body officials said that the PMC, which has started a door to door survey, is facing a slowdown due to non-cooperation of people. 
In June, the PMC started the survey for carrying out its ambitious 24x7 water supply project. The civic body has appointed two private companies to carry out the survey. This agencies have appointed six teams to carry out the door to door survey in different part of the city. From last almost two months, these agencies could complete only 20 per cent of survey. This survey includes collecting information like name of the property owners, type of property (residential or commercial establishment), contact numbers, e-mail address, property number and number of family members.  
When Sakal Times asked water supply department about survey, V G Kulkarni, Chief Superintendent of water supply department, said, "The survey is going on at slow pace as people are not cooperating with the persons appointed by the agency. They are reluctant to provide personal information to these agencies. We have given time till November to complete the survey. There are total 8,50,000 properties in the city which need to be surveyed."
L&T and Jain Irrigation System are carrying out the survey to find out the usage of water from individual households. The corporation has even distributed identity cards to these officials.
Nandkumar Jagtap, superintendent engineer of water supply department, who is heading this project, told Sakal Times, "People are scared to share personal information such as contact numbers and email addresses. They are worried that their personal information can be misused by marketing companies or other services."
He further said, "Considering the deadline, till now, the agencies should have had completed 70 per cent survey so far. However, they have completed only 25 per cent of the work. Now, we have issued instructions to agencies skip people who are reluctant to share details. We have decided that we will collect this information at the time issuing meters for these households"
He appealed to citizens to provide all information as it will help them to access all communication related to water supply through their cell phone or on email. He assured that the data collected for this project will not be misused. He said, 
"We have instructed agencies to keep secrecy related to data and now, we will give them a letter about security of data."
Satish Jha, official of L&T company who is in charge of survey said, "We have started the survey in Viman Nagar, Sahakar Nagar and other parts of the city. Some people are cooperating while others are raising questions about the safety of information. However, we have explained to them the purpose and necessity of the survey. We are trying hard to complete the survey as early as possible."
Jain Irrigation System is carrying out the survey in Hadapsar. When contacted, Madhusudan Choudhary, an official of Jain Irrigation, refused to provide information about the survey. 
Project delayed by seven months
Meanwhile, due to this, the water supply project is delayed by more than seven months despite sanctioned tenders of the water project. 
According to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the work was supposed to begin in March this year but it will not begin before Diwali. Earlier, the project suffered a delay due to non-availability of land for overhead water tanks and now, due to prolonged door-to-door survey. 
It may be recalled that in February this year, then Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar had announced that work on the 24x7 water supply project will start within a month of sanctioning the project tenders.

24X7 water supply

  • The total project cost is Rs 2,550 crore. 
  • The deadline for completion is 3 years.
  • 1,600 km of pipelines will be replaced with new ones.

CitizenSpeak 
Suraj Patil, a resident of Viman Nagar said, ‘The civic body has not approached me so far, but I have my objections while sharing my personal data.” Patil questioned why the civic body needs data when the property tax department has the necessary data.

Expert speaks 
Pankaj Ghode, cyber expert, said, “International agencies have already accessed your personal data with Facebook and WhatsApp. However, in the past, it is time and again proved how smaller agencies collect data and sell it to marketing companies. Besides against the background of forthcoming election, the outcome of such data collection could be different. Data can be used for election purpose. It is called data mining or data analytics.” He further pointed, “The corporation should not collect data through door to door survey. They should write an email to UIDAI and ask them to share the data.” 

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