Puri is one of the major heritage cities of the country and every year more than 2 crore tourists visit every year. And this month the city earned an unique distinction of becoming the first Indian city to provide 24X7 pure drinking water. This is the landmark achievement for the city and state and is one of the major contributors for enhancing the status of sanitation and hygiene in Puri, Odisha. The city has become the first city to offer safe drinking water directly from taps to the residents and the tourists visiting the city every year and now has joined the group of global metropolitans like London and New York for providing safe drinking water.
The government launches “Sujal: Drink from Tap Mission” which has the goal of providing all time safe drinking water to all the residents and people visiting the cities directly through taps. The city has fulfilled and achieved the credentials of the ambitious mission and has achieved the goal of the mission. The 24 hour drink from tap facility provides water which can be used directly without filtration for different purposes such as drinking, cooking etc. This move is beneficial for the 2.5 lakh people residing in the city and the 2 crore tourists visiting the city every year. And the people don’t need to carry water bottles with them and can directly rely on the taps. This type of facility is present in very limited number of cities globally and Puri has established its place. Furthermore, the state government had installed 400 water fountains in different locations of the city with the aim of reducing the reliance and usage of plastic bottles in Puri. This will eventually reduce the amount of plastic wastes being can be reduced.
The government uses 5T initiative for increasing the efficiency and effectivity of the services being delivered across the city. The Chief Minister of the state emphasized on the linkage between safe drinking water with health, living standards and the economy, thereby, urging the people not to waste or pollute water. Transparency, teamwork, technology, time-frame and transformation form the 5Ts which has been adopted by the government for improving its governance. The budget for drinking water has been doubled in 5 years from Rs 200 crore to Rs 4000 crore thereby making the city the first heritage town in the country to get this facility. It is expected that the initiative will have great contribution in reducing the amount of plastic wastes generated. It is estimated that the amount of plastic waste being generated by the city will reduce by 400 tonne per annum. 1100 Stand posts were already present in the city and the state government has established additional 110 modern public stand posts along the Grand Road (Badadanda) and nine by the sea beach area have been installed. Old stand posts are being replaced with steel pipes and taps and at present 36 MLD clean water is being supplied everyday in the city. About 135 – 140 liters of drinking water per head per day is being provided to the residents everyday.