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Puri become first Indian city where people can drink tap water 24×7

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurates the 24x7 safe drinking water Sujal in Puri (Pics: Courtesy Twitter/@CMO_Odisha)

Registering a first in the country, Odisha’s Puri notched the privilege of being India’s first city to provide safe drinking water 24×7!

What Puri’s drink-from-tap facility translates into is that the city will have safe drinking water which, without any filtration or process, can be used safely and with assurance for drinking and cooking.

The drink-from-tap project, or Sujal, was inaugurated by the State Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik on July 26 (Monday). Thus the city achieved the singular distinction in India, to have safe drinking water throughout the day in the entire city. Puri’s 2.5 lakh residents will be greatly benefitted from this initiative.

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Announcing this an official statement released by the CM’s office stated: “Puri has now joined the elite group of international cities like London, New York and Singapore in supplying quality potable water from municipal taps throughout the day.”

According to a report in India Today, talking to the media, the visibly happy Chief Minister remarked: “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of not only Puri, but entire Odisha. From now on, all the families living in Puri Dham of Mahaprabhu will have access to clean drinking water from tap 24 hours. Under the Sujal scheme, one can drink water directly from the tap. Storage or filter is not required.”

The CM also took the opportunity to praise the State Housing and Urban Development Department for their effort. He said: “Within nine months, 2.5 lakh people in Puri would have access to the Sujal facility. It will also benefit two crore tourists arriving at Puri every year. They would not have to carry water bottles everywhere.”

With the idea to minimise the use of plastic bottles and containers and also curb plastic wastage, the State Government will also provide this safe water to people at different spots. Highlighting this Patnaik said water fountains have been installed at 400 locations in Puri, including the Grand Road.

Emphasising on the importance and benefits of clean drinking water that Sujal will provide, CM observed: “This is the best model of the '5T' initiative. Good drinking water has a strong link with health, living standards and the economy. Therefore, I urge people not to waste or pollute the water. The budget for drinking water has been doubled in five years. The previous water budget of Rs 200 crore has reached Rs 4,000 crore today.

The inauguration event was also attended by the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Pratap Jena, who shared that the drink-from-tap project is being implemented in 14 cities across Odisha. He said: “The Chief Minister has always attached great importance to providing high-quality facilities in the cities, and the Sujal scheme implementation in Puri is his dream come true.”

The cities where the State Government is working to initiate safe drinking water from tap includes Cuttack, Rourkela and Berhampur. These projects are expected to benefit around a 4 million strong urban population.

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The State Government’s statement said: “The State Government has planned to cover all urban areas of Odisha by March 2022, making it the state first to do so in India. Supplying drink-from-tap quality water to every home, similar to developed nations like the USA, England, Japan, Singapore.”

Going beyond just providing water, back-up facilities to ensure this service functions well, will also be there. The statement said: “It includes a 24/7 helpline centre with IVRS for grievance redressal, the inauguration of a mobile water testing laboratory and quick response team for rapid redressal of water supply complaints.”