- On July 26, 2021, Puri became the first Indian city to get 24×7 clean and filtered piped drinking water supply under the Sujal: Drink from Tap Mission.
About Sujal: Drink from Tap Mission
- The mission aims to provide piped water connections to all urban areas in the state by March 2022.
- Odisha government has set Rs. 1300 crore for this scheme to benefit over 15 lakh people in 15 towns in a phased manner.
- The Letter of Understanding (LoU) for this mission was inked with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) by the Odisha government in October 2019.
- The mission was launched on October 13, 2020.
Implementation of the Mission
- The mission was initially launched on a pilot basis.
- It is said to be a part of ‘5T’ charter.
- The government has set up 400 drinking water fountains in various places of the city.
- Odisha leveraged Rs. 1394 cr. allocation under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) to make this possible.
- 5T include team work, technology, transparency, transformation and time limit.
- It was launched by the Odisha government in May 2020 to judge the performance of government officials and projects.
AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation)
- It aims to provide basic services (e.g. water supply, sewerage, and urban transport) to households and build amenities in cities which will improve the quality of life for all, especially the poor and disadvantaged.
It was launched by the Government of India in 2015.
- Underprivileged women from Self Help Groups part of Mission Shakti, designated as Jal-saathis have been hired as a key community link between public and the government.
- The mission is being implemented in 16 other cities across Odisha covering its 40 lakh population.
Comparison with other cities of the world
- Puri is said to have joined an elite club of global metropolitans like New York, Singapore and London that offer safe drinking water to their residents directly from tap.
- While the water management system of metropolitans are highly tech-driven and based on comprehensive guidelines for monitoring, the ‘Sujal’ mission of Odisha is managed by women-led self-help groups (i.e., community based water management system.
Thus, it would be too early to go for comparison of the Odisha’s ‘Sujal’ mission with that of the metropolitan cities in the world.
The inauguration of ‘Sujal’ Drink from Tap Mission is a welcome step. It is a landmark achievement towards urban safety and hygiene. Although, the mission is not comparable with the water management system of the metropolitans in the real sense, but it is good start. The Government of India and all other state government must look towards providing safe drinking water to the people as early as possible.
@ Abhay Pandey