Puri Becomes First Indian City To Provide Tap Water Fit For Consumption

Puri: In a bid to provide 100% tap water connection in the Pilgrimage town of Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday inaugurated ‘Sujal’ or ‘Drink From Tap’ mission in Puri.

Chief Minister Patnaik inaugurated the water supply system at Puri virtually and the initiative has been launched under the ‘Jalsathi’ programme by partnering with women self-help groups (SHGs) of Mission Shakti in community-led water supply management.

With this, Puri has become the first city in India to achieve Drink-from-Tap quality 24 x 7 water supply adhering to Quality Standards of IS 10500.

This transformative initiative of the Odisha government’s ‘Sujal’ or ‘Drink From Tap’ mission falls under the 5T Governance Mantra and is set to benefit the city’s 2.5 lakh local population and 2 crore tour-ists who visit the holy city of Lord Jagannath annually.

The state-of-the-art technology, which allows people to drink directly from the tap, has become a reality in India for the first time. Puri now has 100% metered household water connections with safe drinking water round-the-clock, joining the league of global cities like London, Singapore and New York.

The provision of safe drinking water will further help prevent the usage of 3crore plastic bottles eliminating 400 metric tonnes of plastic waste.

On this occasion, Naveen said, “Providing Drink-from-Tap quality water 24×7 to every household is a transformative project and a step in the direction of our vision for making Jagannath dhamPuri a world-class heritage city. Puri residents, tourists and pilgrims alike can now drink water from the tap across the city, be it at home or across the drinking water fountains.”

“It has been my dream to provide piped water to every household in Odisha and this is now turning a reality,” he said.

Pilgrims who visit the city will further have access to 120 drinking water fountains set up by the state 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 on its way to success in 16 other cities across Odisha covering its 40-lakh population.

This transformative initiative, Drink-from-Tap, under the 5T Governance Mantra, is set to provide safe water to every household in Odisha across all 114 urban local bodies with an inclusive mandate covering all slum households across the state.

The water quality surveillance has been strengthened with state-of-the-art laboratories, labs on wheels, chlorine analysers with automatic chlorine dozers, water quality sensors, and doorstep quality surveillance.

Underprivileged women from Self Help Groups part of Mission Shakti, designated as Jalsaathis, have been hired as a key community link between the public and the government on a performance-based and incentive-linked programme that furthers Odisha’s long-standing commitment to women empowerment and inclusion.

Jalsaathis, have been trained for meter reading, revenue collection, conducting field water quality tests and sensitising people to having metered connections. This has ensured 100% metered household connections in Puri.

The state is ensuring stringent quality control and inspection of the drinking water through its “Lab on Wheels”, which are mobile van laboratories being mobilised for improved quality control with onsite water quality monitoring of vital parameters.

There will be a quick response team, that comprises exclusive mobile crews, set up for prompt redressal of leakages, quality of water, pressure supply, etc. Two such crews with dedicated vehicles are already available round-the-clock in Puri. Real-time water quality will be displayed at public places by way of LCD screens to ensure public confidence and a mass shift from bottled water to Puri tap water.

There will also be quality assurance through strong technology-based, real-time surveillance and control measures.

This Smart Water Management Technology implemented in the state to monitor uninterrupted 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.

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