Delhi’s Kejriwal Government Launches Revolutionary Water-ATMs for Equitable Access to Safe Drinking Water
27 July, 2023 | Don Tomslee
In a groundbreaking move to ensure equal access to clean drinking water for all citizens, the Kejriwal Government has taken a pioneering step by introducing Water-ATMs in various areas across Delhi...
In a groundbreaking move to ensure equal access to clean drinking water for all citizens, the Kejriwal Government has taken a pioneering step by introducing Water-ATMs in various areas across Delhi. The initiative aims to eliminate the reliance on water tankers and empower communities with reliable and convenient access to safe drinking water. Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the first Water-ATM at Mayapuri Phase Two Khajan Basti, ushering in a new era for water distribution in the city. This initiative ensures that underprivileged sections of Delhi now have access to the same quality of RO water previously available to more affluent segments of society.
Emphasizing the significance of this initiative, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal asserted that the launch of Water-ATMs is a vital step towards ensuring that every citizen of Delhi receives clean and pure water at their doorstep, eliminating the need for residents in areas without water pipelines to rely on water tankers or compromised water sources.
The Water-ATMs function through a user-friendly system where consumers are provided with Water-ATM Cards, allowing them to collect 20 liters of water per day from designated RO plants for free. The pilot project has already established four RO plants, and the government is actively setting up an impressive network of 500 additional RO plants to expand the reach of this initiative.
CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal, along with Water Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj and DJB Vice Chairman Shri Somnath Bharti, visited the Water-ATM & RO plant installed at Khajan Basti in Mayapuri to inspect the RO water supply system and interact with officials. The plant includes two tanks with a combined capacity of three thousand liters, with water passing through RO and microfilters before undergoing high-pressure pumping for an efficient and reliable system. Residents expressed satisfaction with the quality of the RO water, with the Chief Minister himself tasting the purified water.
CM Kejriwal highlighted that this unique experiment aims to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in Delhi, providing clean water access to underprivileged families through Water ATMs. Previously, water tankers supplying water often led to conflicts while standing in queues, and the quality of water from tubewells was not always satisfactory. With the Water-ATMs, citizens in such areas will be provided with cards, allowing them to withdraw 20 liters of clean water per day.
Water Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj shared that this initiative intends to cater to areas where water pipelines are inaccessible by installing Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants that use tubewells to offer clean and purified water. The convenience of the Water ATM card allows Khajan Basti residents to access 20 liters of clean water daily. Delhi currently has four operational Water ATMs, with plans to install 500 more, and 2,500 cards already issued.
Delhi Jal Board Vice Chairman Shri Somnath Bharti expressed joy on Twitter, sharing that approximately 2,000 residents in Khajan Basti are benefiting from the Water ATMs, receiving 20 liters of water daily at no cost. The successful pilot project has led to the establishment of additional RO plants in other areas, and Shri Somnath Bharti praised MLA Smt Rajkumari Dhillon for her swift actions in addressing the community’s concerns.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s presence among the residents of Khajan Basti brought overwhelming joy, as locals expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Delhi government for installing the RO plants, resolving water-related issues, and improving their lives. MLA Rajkumari Dhillon’s swift actions were particularly appreciated by the community.
With operational RO plants in Shakurbasti, Kalkaji, and Jharoda, providing clean water access to residents through Water ATM cards, the Delhi Jal Board is addressing water challenges in areas with unplanned development and cramped settlements. Water ATMs offer 24/7 access to safe drinking water, furthering the government’s commitment to ensuring equitable access to clean water for all citizens.
Key Features of the RO Plant Project
- A pilot project installs fifty 30 KL capacity RO plants in various JJ clusters.
- The Delhi Jal Board bears the cost of 10 lakhs for each RO plant.
- Free land allocation/arrangement is provided to the RO plants based on the availability of land/tubewells.
- Existing tubewells or newly established ones supply raw/groundwater to RO installations by DJB.
- DJB provides RFID cards to Water ATM consumers for accessing free water daily, while consumers are charged for water beyond the allotted quantity.
- The rate for purified water is 1.60 rupees per 20 liters (8 paise per liter), with JJ cluster residents receiving this water for free.