Unavailability of clean drinking water is one of the major problems faced by those living in Indian slums.
But slum-dwellers in Bhubaneswar will now have access to clean drinking water with the help of water ATMs in the city. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to distribute smart cards that will enable users to get water from these ATMs.
Picture for representation only. Source: Facebook
The water ATMs, which run on solar power, can store 500-40,000 litres of water. On swiping the card, the screen shows options for the quantity of water to be withdrawn. One person can draw a maximum of 20 litres of water in a day.
BMC plans to distribute around 2,500 smart cards in water scarce pockets of the city. Currently, there are 10 water ATMs, located at Jharana Basti, Gandamunda, Jadupur, Dumduma, Pokhariput, Siripur, Ganganagar Square, Sundarpada, Bhoi Sahi, and Baramunda.
The water will cost 30 paise per litre and the smart cards can be recharged at the ward office.
BMC has tied hands with the private firm Piramal Sarvajal for this project. Previously, similar water ATMs have been installed in Kolkata and Delhi as well.
“We have received 1,000 smart cards so far. The remaining 1,500 cards will come in a week and the distribution will be over in the next two weeks. The water ATMs have been run on a trial basis and they are in operational stage now,” a BMC spokesperson told The Times of India.
30 more water ATMs will be installed in different areas of the city in the next phase of the project. Government-owned as well as private companies will supply purified water to these ATMs. Ananta Narayan Jena, the mayor of Bhubaneshwar, said that the chances of water-borne diseases will be reduced with these water ATMs.
“We are giving priority to those areas which have either no direct access to safe water or are too remotely located for piped water,” he said.