Puri becomes first Indian city to implement 'drink from tap' quality water; part of government's Sujal project
Puri/IBNS: The famous pilgrim and beach town of Odisha, Puri, has become the first city in India to achieve 24 x 7 safe drinking water from taps as laid down by the Indian Quality Standards of IS 10500.
Puri now has 100 per cent metered household water connections with safe drinking water round-the-clock, joining the league of global cities like London, Singapore and New York.
It is an initiative of the Odisha government’s ‘Sujal’ or ‘Drink From Tap’ mission, it is estimated to benefit the city’s 2.5 lakh local population and two crore tourists who visit the city annually.
Provision of safe drinking water will prevent the usage of three crore plastic bottles annually, eliminating 400 metric tonnes of plastic waste, further reducing the state’s carbon footprint, according to reports.
Naveen Patnaik, chief minister of Odisha, inaugurated the ‘Drink from Tap Mission’ - ‘Sujal’ in Puri through video conferencing on July 26.
He said, “Providing Drink-from-Tap Quality water 24x7 to every household is a trans-formative project and this is a step in the direction of our vision for making Puri a world class heritage city. Puri residents, tourists and pilgrims alike can now drink wa-ter from tap across the city, be it at home or across the newly-established water fountains.”
The state government has set up 120 drinking water fountains all along the Grand Trunk Road and other Puri hotspots that are similar to the water fountains at airports.
Apart from Puri, the mission is also being implemented in 16 other cities across Odisha covering 40 lakh households.
According to a release from the state government, the water quality surveillance has been strengthened with state-of-the-art laboratories, labs on wheels, chlorine analys-ers with automatic chlorine doser, water quality sensors, and doorstep quality sur-veillance.
Underprivileged women from Self Help Groups, part of Odisha’s Mission Shakti, desig-nated as Jalsaathis, have been trained for meter reading, revenue collection, conduct-ing field water quality tests and sensitizing people to having metered connections.
Returning migrants are being trained as plumbers to look after installation and maintenance work, including checking for leakages and wastage of water.
This Smart Water Management Technology implemented in the state to monitor unin-terrupted and quality water supply across Puri has also won national level recognitions --- the Award of Excellence at the second National Water and Sanitation Innovation Summit, and the Award of Excellence at the 18th CSI SIG e-Governance Awards, the release said.
The state minister for housing and urban development, Pratap Jena, addressed the event, which was also attended by the Secretary from the Union ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.