In a first in Odisha, Water ATM is installed in Bhubaneswar for the convenience of the people to access safe drinking water.
Slum dwellers will get safe drinking water in water scarce pockets as the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to distribute around 2500 smart cards that can be swiped in the water ATMs for water.
“We have received 1000 smart cards so far. The remaining 1500 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,” said a BMC spokesperson.
At present, 10 ATMs machine have been installed at Jharana Basti, Gandamunda, Jadupur, Dumduma, Pokhariput, Siripur, Ganganagar Square, Bhimtangi, Sundarpada and Bhoi Sahi, Barmunda. In the next phase, 30 other ATMs will come up at places where drinking water is not accessible.
People can recharge their smart cards, which look like debit cards, at the ward office. A litre of water will cost 30 paise.
An official source said the BMC has signed an MoU with the private firm, Piramal Sarvajal, for the project. The private agency has provided technical assistance to BMC to install the ATMs and maintain it for five years.
A BMC source said, to supply purified water to the ATMs, two of four water treatment units have been be set up by the private firm. Each unit will cater to 10 ATMs. There will be dedicated vehicles for transportation of the purified water.
The ATMs can store a minimum of 500 litres and maximum of 40,000 litres. The ATMs will run on solar power. Once swiped, the ATM screen will show options of quantity of water. The machine will then pump out water in accordance with the quantity of litres chosen.
On a given day, a maximum of 20 litres of water can be drawn using one card, said the spokesperson.