Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik on Monday, July 26, launched the ambitious 'Sujal- Drink From Tap Mission' making Puri the first city in India to receive a 24/7 quality drinking water supply.
"Puri residents, tourists, and pilgrims can now drink water from taps 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 into a reality," the Chief Minister said, as per media reports.
Step In The Right Direction
The tap water supplied in the city, with over 2.5 lakh population, will adhere to the Quality Standards of IS 10500. Live Mint reported that the government was planning to expand the project by providing piped drinking water to at least 16 more cities in the state. This move would benefit more than 40 lakh people in Odisha.
It is a step in the direction to make Puri, the city that sees a turnout of over two crore tourists every year, into a world-class tourist destination. Patnaik said that with the move to provide every household with piped drinking water, Puri joined the league of the world's largest cities like New York and London.
The move is beneficial not only for the residents but will improve the experience of tourists and pilgrims as well. An official statement said that 120 fountains had been erected along with various hotspots in Puri. The tourists will get 24/7 drinking water from these fountains.
It will reduce the state's carbon footprint as with access to drinking water around the city, pilgrims and tourists will no longer have to carry plastic water bottles. An estimated 400 million tons of plastic waste would be dropped, courtesy of the mission.
To sustain the quality of the water and an uninterrupted supply, the state government will also make use of technologies to conduct real-time surveillance. Additionally, a quick response team will be deployed for prompt redressal of issues such as leakages, quality, and pressure supply.
Women from economically weaker sections will also be roped in to form self-help groups who will be designated the title of 'Jalsaathis' and be trained on aspects such as meter reading, collection of revenue, organising quality tests, and creating awareness amongst people.
Sujal Mission Aims To Provide Piped Drinking Water Across Odisha
Odisha government launched the 'Sujal- Drink From Tap Mission' on October 13, 2020, to supply tap drinking water throughout the state. With the program, Odisha became the first state in India to implement a scheme of providing water fit for direct consumption in urban areas.
A fund of ₹1300 crore was granted to provide quality tap water to over 15 lakh people in 15 towns in a phased manner. During the launch last year, the Chief Minister had said that all urban households would get the connection by 2022.