Imagine a city that has clean, wide and congestion free roads, tree lined avenues, lots of greenery, uninterrupted power supply and clean tap water that’s safe to drink. In the steel city of Jamshedpur, that is an everyday reality, thanks to the Jamshedpur Utilities & Services Company (Jusco). The company manages the city’s water, power, sewage, roads, municipal services, solid waste management and integrated township maintenance.
The city is one of the cleanest and greenest in the country and Jusco has received the Environment Management System (EMS) ISO 14001 certification. Jamshedpur is the only city in South East Asia to be selected by the United Nations to participate in its Global Compact Cities Pilot Programme.
In 2004, Jusco was formed by hiving off the town division of Tata Steel, which had been providing all municipal services to the township since it was set up in 1907. Today, its 1,322 employees also handle public health, horticulture services, planning, engineering and construction, and run a 24-hour helpdesk within the 14,000-acre township area.
“Jusco was created to corporatise civic and municipal services and to grow beyond Jamshedpur as a private player in this sector,” says managing director Sanjiv Paul. “By making it a separate corporate entity, Tata Steel has enabled Jusco to leverage its experience in Jamshedpur and provide services to the rest of the country.”
Water wizardsThe company has a unique 'river to river management' concept, through which the town’s wastewater, after treatment and testing, is pumped back into the river. Jamshedpur is one of very few cities in India that treats 100 per cent of its wastewater. This has reduced pollutant discharge by 98 per cent. “We proudly say that you can drink water straight from the tap in Jamshedpur; you can’t do that in most other parts of the country,” Paul says proudly.
Water services is Jusco’s crowning achievement, not just for Jamshedpur’s seven lakh people, but also for Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Timken, Tata Cummins, Lafarge and other enterprises that are present in Jamshedpur. The company supplies quality tap drinking water and treats 60 million litres of waste water each day at its two sewage treatment plants.
Jusco has installed state-of-the-art electromagnetic bulk meters at strategic locations to continuously monitor water flow and losses on a real-time basis. Over the last three years, potable and industrial water losses have come down by more than 20 per cent and 30 per cent respectively. Over the years, close monitoring, conservation measures, aggressive loss reduction programme and water harvesting together have reduced water production in spite of enhancing the customer base by more than 20 per cent.A Geographical Information System (GIS) has been developed to get detailed knowledge of Jusco’s underground utility assets. The GIS has helped to establish the asset database and enable the company to plan future network rehabilitations and expansions. The GIS technology also helps Jusco in improving preventive maintenance and in identifying the source of customer complaint for quick redressal.
Not surprisingly, Jusco’s expertise is valued outside Jamshedpur too. The company recently won the bid for the development and management of water supply and sewerage systems for Sector V, Salt Lake, Kolkata on a 30-year build-operate-transfer contract. It has also secured other water projects outside Jamshedpur including at Haldia, Muzaffarpur, Bhopal and Turamdih mines for the Uranium Corporation of India in Jharkhand.
Balance of power
The power distribution services department serves 60,000 customers — domestic, commercial and industrial. While the national average per capita annual consumption of electricity is 530 KWH, Jamshedpur’s average is 800 KWH and growing at 4 to 5 per cent per annum. Jusco is among the lowest-tariff power providers in the country.
Jusco has also obtained the power distribution licence for Saraikela-Kharsawan district, which is contiguous to Jamshedpur. This will be the first such district in the country where two power distribution companies will operate in the same area and customers will have the right to choose.
Health is happiness
The company’s public health and horticulture services department provides preventive health care to the citizens of Jamshedpur, handles horticulture activities and also disposes of municipal solid wastes.
Preventive health care includes immunisation, vector control, epidemiological surveillance, health education, and also veterinary services including sterilisation of stray dogs. Horticulture services include tree plantation and upkeep of the city’s 22 parks, as well as roadside and roundabout gardens. Conservancy services involve cleaning of streets, markets and residential areas, apart from solid waste management.
Road to progress
Jusco’s planning, engineering and construction department strives to carry forward the legacy of the original township designers, FC Temple and Dr Koeningsberger. It designs and builds residential bungalows, apartments, hostels, schools, institutes, hospitals, etc. It also provides architectural, structural and construction services to Tata Steel and other companies.
One of its prime responsibilities is the 524-km road network in the Tata Steel command area of Jamshedpur. Other projects include the laser fountain at the city’s Jubilee Park and the new Mohan Ahuja Badminton Stadium, the cable tunnel project for Tata Steel, a 2 XT-900 oxygen plant for Praxair India, drinking and clarified water pipeline project for Tata BlueScope Steel, and an indoor stadium at Keonjhar in Orissa.
The Jusco Sahyog Kendra is a 24x7 single-window contact point, implemented in early 2005, for logging and tracking customer complaints for services provided by Jusco. It has helped revolutionise the delivery of civic and allied services in Jamshedpur. It has significantly improved management of customer complaints thereby delighting the customer, which is evident from the results of the latest Customer Satisfaction and Quality of Life survey conducted by AC Nielsen ORG-Marg.
Paul is not content with being the man who manages one of India’s best-run cities. He feels Jusco’s biggest challenge is to upgrade the quality of services that it provides, apart from growing beyond Jamshedpur. “We would like to grow and be a leader in the infrastructure sector, particularly the water and sanitation area. We believe the sector will grow, and we have nearly 100 years of experience,” he says.
Opportunities are coming up. A 90-acre auto ancillary SEZ at Adityapur in Jharkhand is being developed by a consortium of Jusco and Gammon Infrastructure, which won the bid for its development and subsequent operation for lease tenure of 90 years. A special purpose vehicle named SEZ Adityapur Ltd (SEZAL) will execute the project, along with the Adityapur Industrial Area Development Authority.
Jusco aims to provide the very best to its customers. The people of Jamshedpur seem to think so too — the town recently voted against setting up an elected municipal corporation to run the city. “We are planning to make the new company, as good at managing a town as Tata Steel is in making steel,” Tata Steel managing director B Muthuraman had said when Jusco was first set up. The company seems to have lived up to those words already. Now, it looks forward to the rest of his statement on the occasion: “As Tata Steel expands, there will be at least another Jamshedpur in India, and a few of them around the world.”