BHUBANESWAR, JULY 26, 2021
Puri on Monday became the first Indian city to achieve citywide ‘drink from tap’ water for 24 hours with 100 per cent metered household connections. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the ‘Sujal-Drink From Tap Mission’ to provide quality drinking water that would be suitable for consumption from the tap.
This transformative initiative of the Odisha government falls under the 5T Governance Mantra and is set to benefit the city’s 2.5 lakh local population and 2 crore tourists who visit the holy city of Lord Jagannath annually.
Inaugurating the mission through videoconferencing, the Chief Minister 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 dham Puri a world-class heritage city. Puri residents, tourists and pilgrims alike can now drink water from 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.”
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 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 sensitizing 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 vehicle 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.
Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Pratap Jena, addressed the event, which was also attended by the Secretary from the Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs, Government of India.