Sri Lanka to regulate water fittings imports, manufacture
ECONOMYNEXT – The government will regulate import and local manufacture of water fittings to improve quality and reduce excessive leaks owing to use of non-standard equipment, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) said.
A statement said the PUCSL has drafted standards and regulatory systems for water fittings to ensure that only quality water fittings are manufactured in Sri Lanka, imported, and available for sales in the market.
It has called for comments on proposed standards and regulatory systems in a consultation paper the PUCSL will publish by 27th March 2019, when a public consultation will be held.
“It is estimated that the average operation and maintenance cost of a cubic meter of water ranges between 40-50 rupees per unit (cubic meter),” the statement said.
“The average cost of water is 160 rupees per unit including recovery of capital investment.Currently, the National Water Supply & Drainage Board recovers only 47 rupees.”
The government needs to reduce the heavy subsidy for it to secure funding for coverage expansion, the PUCSL said.
“Excessive quantity of water is leaked due use of non-standard water fittings by Sri Lankan water consumers.”
Sri Lanka imports most water fittings as there is no import regulation or taxation, resulting in inferior quality, non-standard water fittings entering the market, the PUCSL said.
“Water conservation has been identified as a measure for addressing the huge capital requirement for providing new safe pipe born water supplies,” it said.
“Subsidised low tariff for water supply doesn’t motivate consumers to prevent leaks by replacing defective water fittings by standard water fittings. Therefore, need for regulatory measures for fittings which contribute mostly for water wastage is identified.”
(COLOMBO, March 19, 2019-SB)
Jehan Perera - Executive Director National Peace Council