Visit your nearest 'water ATM' in summer
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- Published 2.12.13
|DEBUT RUN: Madhukam in Ranchi is one of the many capital neighbourhoods where the drinking water kiosks will open up|
A thirsty capital may soon find a soothing solution in a machine.
If all goes well, the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) will offer residents 10- and 20-litre bottles of distilled water for a paltry price from next summer.
“You may call it a water ATM. One simply needs to drop Rs 3.50 into the vending machine and get 10 litres of pure drinking water,” said deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya. The 20-litre bottles will come for Rs 7 only.
If installed, this will be the first-of-its-kind venture and can also serve as a model for civic authorities in Dhanbad, Bokaro and Jamshedpur where many neighbourhoods often run dry during summer months.
A similar model is already in place in Karnataka.
Incidentally, the RMC is not spending a single penny for the project. Water Life India — a World Bank funded agency that works for such projects across the country — will sponsor the venture.
“When the agency approached us for this project in Ranchi, we readily agreed. All we have to do is to provide them space and the agency will install the whole set-up and also run it. The profit earned will be divided roughly at 10:90 ratio,” said the deputy mayor.
A brainchild of Vijayvargiya, the civic body is planning to install the entire set-up phase wise. About a dozen places have been identified, including Madhukam, Loreto Convent School, Dhurwa, Kokar, Booty More, Harmu, Pandra, Upper Bazar, Kantatoli and Ratu Road, where these pure water kiosks would come up during the first phase.
Madhukam and Loreto Convent School will be the first two sites to host the pure water kiosks.
“We laid the foundation stone at these two places on November 26. Work should have started. But, because of shortage of sand supply across the state, it got delayed,” said Vijayvargiya. The process of setting up each unit will take about a month.
According to high-placed sources, the civic body will identify one site in each ward. The capital is divided into 55 wards.
Divulging details, the deputy mayor added, “We are starting off with areas where we already have our own high yielding drilling tubes installed for water connections. At each of these sites, a small water treatment and filtration unit, enclosure for storing water and quality testing centre will be set up. The high yield drilling pipes will first be connected to the treatment plant and then to filtration unit from where the water will straight away go to the dispensation unit.”
He added that the project would be a great relief for residents, especially the poor who do not have access to pure and safe drinking water.
“Unadulterated food, clean air and pure water is every citizen’s right. But, given the condition of the city at the moment, one can only find pollution. While the rich can afford bottles of mineral water, the poor cannot. We hope that our project will be a relief for one and all,” Vijayvargiya added.