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Puri: First city in India with "Drink-from-Tap" facility

 Puri, located in Odisha, became the first Indian city with 24x7 clean drinking water from tap facility. The “Drink from Tap Project” was inaugurated on 2nd August 2021. The drink from tap facility has been initiated by the Water Corporation of Odisha under the “Sujal” scheme. While inaugurating the project the CM of Odisha claimed that this project will enable the people of Puri to collect water directly from the tap and it would not be necessary to store or filter it further for the purpose of drinking. 

Drink-from-Tap Project

Under the Sujal scheme, the water is taken from the Bhargavi river and then it is channelised to a reservoir. The water is then sent to Samang for water treatment procedures like purification and chlorination. 

Sujal scheme aims to provide clean drinking water from taps to nearly 1.5 million people in 15 towns of Odisha by 2023.  Puri’s water requirement is around 32-34 million litres per day and the plants have been claimed to purify around 42 million litres of water each day. 

The “Drink from Tap” project is said to benefit the 2.5 lakh residents of Puri. As Puri is known as the holy town of Odisha, it would also benefit the 2 crore tourists who visit Puri. Another impact is that it can reduce the number of plastic bottles bought, mostly by tourists. It can drastically reduce the disposal of plastic waste. People can directly consume the water from the 400 fountains installed in the city. 

But it is also important to maintain stringent rules on the quality of water supplied. Contaminated water can pave the way to a number of diseases. Constant monitoring of the water quality is essential. The scheme is in its initial stage and it is imperative to maintain the availability and purity of water in the long run. 

Clean drinking water in India

According to the UNICEF reports, less than half of the people in India have access to safe drinking water. Harmful chemicals such as Arsenic and Fluoride are found in 1.96 million dwellings.  The report also indicates another major concern, that is unavailability of water in many areas. 

School attendance decreases in the areas where children are sent to collect water. They spend hours collecting water which affects their education. In the drought hit states, a 22% rise in school drop out rates was recorded. 

Therefore it is important to ensure the availability of clean drinking water to the people. Safe drinking water is a fundamental aspect of public health.

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