KOCHI: A joint initiative of Kerala Women’s Development Corporation (KSWDC) and Kochi Corporation, ‘Kochi Water’, is scripting a success story, albeit a silent one. The water treatment plant, aimed at providing pure drinking water at Re 1 per litre, now sells over 300 water cans of 20 litres each day. Kochi Water’s unit, though situated at Pandikkudy in Fort Kochi, caters to the drinking water needs of people as far away as Kalamassery and Kadavanthra.
The plant set up on behalf of KSWDC is operated, managed and maintained by Dharana Infrastructure Projects Pvt. Ltd, a company incorporated to do social enterprising in the field of affordable, safe drinking water. Water produced at a cost of Rs 10 per 20-litre jar at the plant is being distributed to the public by the Kudumbashree Unit for Rs 20, while other branded water jars of 20 litres are sold for a minimum of Rs 50 per jar.
It employs five women from the Kudumbashree unit and an operator of the reverse osmosis plant. “We distribute close to 85 cans a day and on weekends it reaches nearly 100. The response from the consumers are encouraging,”said Bindu Johnson, an employee and the driver of the vehicle which distributes the water cans. She is accompanied at the plant by Sowmya Sunil, Sheeba Jeevan, Shalini Shaji and Mary Joseph.
The Rs 25.5 lakh plant draws water from a tube-well (common well) in the compound. The water is processed at six stages, said Eby Thomas, managing director, Dharana Infrastructure Projects Pvt. Ltd. “Any contaminated water, other than sea water, can be processed in this plant. 2,000 litres of water can be processed in this plant per hour. 2,400 jars of pure water of 20 litre capacity each can be produced per day.
The water produced in this plant meets or exceeds World Health Organization Standards and Indian Standards ISI0500,” he said.
Presently, apart from the Pandikudy unit, Kudumbashree units at Edapally, Chilavannur and Ravipuram in the Corporation limit are setting up this clean, cost-effective drinking water plants, in addition to 10 more divisions in the offing. The project has also been successfully implemented in Malappuram, Kasargod and Palakkad municipalities so far. P T M Sunish, managing director, KSWDC, said more and more local bodies across the state are approaching KSWDC to set up plants in their areas. “We target to set up around 250 plants by the end of this financial year,” he added.