The state health department has taken up a programme to provide pure drinking water free in hospitals from January-end, when the government is all set to impose water tax on both domestic and industrial sectors.
The health department has held talks with a private firm on installing at least one water purifier in every hospital. Initially, the programme will start with the state-run hospitals.
Director of health services Prabhakar Chatterjee said on Monday at Writers’ Buildings that the project will cover 35 hospitals, including SSKM, Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, National Medical College and Hospital, Nilratan Sirkar Medical College and Hospital, R. G. Kar Medical College and Hospital and others.
The aim is to provide safe drinking water not only to the patients but also to doctors, nurses, hospital staff and patients’ families, Chatterjee said.
The water purifiers will be installed by a private company and they will be operated by physically-challenged people. All the costs will be borne by the hospitals.
“If the scheme succeeds in the 35 hospitals, we will extend it to cover all the hospitals in the state,” Chatterjee said. Moreover, he pointed out, the project will generate employment for the physically-challenged.
“Their names will be selected by the employment exchanges to avert any type of malpractice in the process of selection. The company will pay them a remuneration for handling its water purifiers,” Chatterjee said.