Puri, The First Indian City with Piped Drinking Water Supply−Drink from Tap Mission

1st August 2021

The famous pilgrim and beach town of Odisha, Puri, has become the first city in India to achieve round-the-clock safe drinking water from taps as laid down by the Indian Quality Standards of IS 10500.

In Puri, on July 26. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, through video conferencing inaugurated the project ‘Sujal - Drink from Tap Mission’.

Now people in the town can drink and cook with good quality water directly from the tap without any filtration.

“Providing Drink-from-Tap Quality water 24/7 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 water from tap across the city, be it at home or across the newly established water fountains. It has been my dream to provide piped water to every household in Odisha and this is now turning into a reality," said Patnaik.

In addiction the Chief Minister said he was deeply shocked to see the condition of Puri but if everything is going on as per plan, Puri will reach a new peak of development.

Thanking the State Housing and Urban Development Department, the Chief Minister further said, “Within nine months, 2.5 lakh (250 000) people in Puri would have access to Sujal facility. It will also benefit two crore (20 million) tourists arriving in Odisha's temple town every year. They would not have to carry water bottles everywhere.”

According to an official release, 120 drinking water fountains have been installed on Grand Road and other hotspots for pilgrims and tourists. In total these fountains are accessible at 400 different locations across the city.

Besides, as potable water is being made available through taps, it will prevent people from using plastic bottles which will lead to the elimination of around three crore (30 million) pieces, 400 tonnes of plastic waste and hence, reducing the state carbon footprint.

"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 tap water," it added.

Highlighting the benefits of the Sujal scheme, Patnaik said, “This is the best model of the '5T'1 initiative. Good drinking water has a strong link with health, living standards and the economy. Therefore, I urge people not to waste or pollute the water. The budget for drinking water has been doubled in five years. The previous water budget of Rs 200 crore (2000 million Indian Rupee) has reached Rs 4,000 crore (40 000 million Indian Rupee) today.

1 Includes five factors: team work, technology, transparency, transformation and time limit.

Heading these factors performance of government officials and projects will be judged.

5T charter is now the top priority of the Odisha government for which a separate department has been created.

The government has hired underprivileged women from SHGs (self-help group) and designated them as ‘Jalsaathis’ for meter readings, revenue collection, conducting field water quality tests, and making people aware.

The inaugural of Sujal scheme was also attended by the Urban Development Minister, Pratap Jena and according to his state a similar project is under various stages of implementation in 16 other urban centres of Odisha.

Szilvia Kullai

Sources:

  1. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/odisha-puri-becomes-first-indian-city-to-have-drink-from-tap-quality-water-1832975-2021-07-27
  2. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/puri-first-indian-city-to-get-24/7-piped-drinking-water-supply/articleshow/84782078.cms
  3. https://smartcity.eletsonline.com/puri-becomes-indias-first-city-to-provide-drinking-water-from-taps/
  4. https://odisha.gov.in/5t-news