CHANDIGARH: The UT administration will start water ATM facility at 10 prime locations in the city under the Smart City Mission. The project would be carried out by Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL) on public-private partnership mode.
Municipal corporation commissioner K K Yadav, who is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of CSCL, had recently submitted before UT officials that 10 water ATM stations would be set up to provide clean, hygienic and cheap water to residents and tourists in the initial phase. Later, more ATMs would be installed in different parts of the city, he had said.
N P Sharma, general manager, Chandigarh Smart City Limited, said they have floated a tender for setting up of 10 water ATMs including built, operate and transfer of water ATMs and vending of water from ATMs of 500 litre capacity at public places, through publicprivate partnership (PPP) at designated locations under “Smart City Mission”.
The companies would provide 250ml of water for Rs 2 and 1 litre in disposal glasses for Rs 5.
According to the initial plan, the water would be provided by the MC but cleanliness and hygiene would be the company’s responsibility. The administration would not allow display of advertisements on the ATMs.
In May 2016, the MC had passed a similar kind of proposal. The finance and contract committee of the MC had passed the agenda but no development took place later.
Availability of clean, hygienic and cheap water would be a boon for tourists and residents alike, especially in the summer. Given the fact that access to safe drinking water is a problem in India and groundwater is contaminated in many places, water at the press of a button for a few rupees at the ATMs is a good step.The MC should map out the plan in great detail so that it is executed properly in a timely manner and does not fizzle out after sometime. It should also ensure that the clean water is provided at such a rate that even a daily wager can buy it.