Puri, Odisha’s holy town, marked a watershed moment with the launch of the state government’s ambitious ‘Drink from Tap’ mission. In a virtual event, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated the project to the coastal town.
Around 2.5 lakh residents of the Puri municipal area will now have access to potable, safe drinking water 24 hours a day as a result of the new project. Additionally, over 400 water fountains have been installed throughout the town as part of the SUJAL: Drink from Tap Mission to accommodate millions of tourists.
Addressing the gathering at Baliapanda, the CM stated that the launch of the one-of-a-kind Drink from Tap Mission has ushered in a new era in the State’s history. “Puri became the country’s first heritage town to receive this facility. It has now joined international cities such as London, New York, and Singapore in providing quality piped drinking water from the tap 24 hours a day,” he added.
Reiterating his Government’s commitment to safe water, Naveen stated that access to safe drinking water is inextricably linked to human health, development, and the economy. The Government’s budget for providing safe drinking water has been increased from 200 million to 4000 million in five years, he added.
Apart from residents of Puri, the city’s 2 crore visitors can obtain safe drinking water directly from the tap without the need for storage or filtering. At 400 locations, drinking water fountains have been installed, obviating the need to carry plastic bottles, he added.
Additionally, the Drink from Tap mission will result in a 400-tonne reduction in plastic waste generation each year.
Naveen expressed gratitude to the residents of Puri for their assistance in making the Rath Yatra a success. He lauded the contribution of Jalasathi volunteers working with Mission Shakti.
Recalling the devastation caused by the FANI cyclone in 2019, Naveen explained that he visited Puri two days later and was disheartened to see the extent of the devastation. “I have resolved to transform Mahaprabhu Jagannath’s abode into a world heritage site. The Srikshetra project is progressing steadily with the blessings of Lord Jagannath and the cooperation of residents,” he said.
Pratap Jena, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, described the launch as a watershed moment in the Chief Minister’s quest to transform Puri into an international standard city. Very soon, 16 additional urban areas with a combined population of 40 lakh will be added to the Drink from Tap Mission, and efforts will be made to implement it in all of the state’s urban areas, Jena stated.
Puri, executive engineer of Public Health Engineering Organization (PHEO), informed that in addition to the town’s existing 1100 stand posts, 110 modern public stand-posts along Badadanda (Grand Road) and nine along the sea beach area have been installed.
Steel pipes and taps are being used in place of the old stand posts. At the moment, 36 MLD of safe drinking water is supplied. Residents receive approximately 135-140 litres of drinking water per person per day, which is the highest rate in the country, he said.
The meeting was chaired by 5T Secretary VK Pandian, with Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra, Development Commissioner PK Jena, and WATCO MD PK Swain in attendance.