BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Tuesday launched ‘Sujal - Drink from Tap Mission’, to provide quality drinking water, fit for direct consumption from the pipe, to over 15 lakh people in 15 towns.
Launching the scheme through video-conference, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that Rs 1300 crore will be spent by the Government to provide the drink directly from tap quality water to all households in urban areas.
The initiative was started at Salia Sahi in Bhubaneswar and Masani Chandi in Puri. In the first phase, safe and purified tap water will be supplied to 12 pilot areas of Bhubaneswar and Puri, covering 1.8 lakh people.
Nine wards in Bhubaneswar having 19,000 households with a population of 1.14 lakh and two wards in Puri having 3,785 households with a population of 70,000 will be covered in the initial phase of the programme.
The Chief Minister announced that by March, 2021, another 50 towns, and by March, 2022, all 114 urban centres in the State will have 100 per cent piped water connection.
Naveen directed the officials to expand the programme to each region of the State in a phased manner. “Puri is a tourist hub. Tourists come from across the globe and use plastic bottled water. This programme will reduce plastic pollution in the town,” he said.
Stating that the programme will reduce the expenditure of poor people on obtaining clean and pure water, he said, it will also prevent waterborne diseases and protect public health. He expressed satisfaction over the Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO) taking up the job of training plumbers in the state.
Chief executive officer of United Kingdom-based Water Aids, Tim Wainwright lauded the Odisha Government for its initiative. Wainwright said he would provide all possible support to the State’s new project.
Participating in the programme from Bhadrak, Urban Development Minister Pratap Jena said that Odisha will be the first State in the country to provide drink from the tap water to people.
The 5T secretary VK Pandian said that the Chief Minister wanted to launch the programme from Salia Sahi. By this initiative, people from Salia Sahi will benefit from modern scientific technology and drink pure water directly through piped connections.