State’s first water ATM launched in city

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Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) gifted its citizens with the first water ATM (water vending kiosks) of the State and a foot over bridge (FOB) and laid the foundation for the new BMC building yesterday ahead of local self governance day today.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched the water ATM, where people can purchase 1 litre of safe drinking water at 30 paisa, at Jharana Sahi yesterday.

BMC sources said 40 such water vending kiosks and four treatment plants will be completed by the end of this year. Each treatment plant will cater to 10 water vending machines.

Areas like slums, bus stands and public places like parks where drinking water is not readily available will be prioritised while selecting locations for the Water ATMs. While all beneficiaries under Rajiv Awaas Yojana (RAY) will be provided ‘Smart Cards’ to purchase water, the public can insert one rupee coins to draw water from the vending machines.

BMC will fund the project, estimated to cost Rs 4.93 crore. A private firm will be entrusted with the task of maintenance, sources added.

Patnaik also inaugurated the foot over bridge near Jayadev Vihar where a modern elevator facility is available for the pedestrians. Dustbin, shoe shine machine and mobile charging points are the other key facilities available on the bridge.

The CM also laid the foundation stone for the eight-storey building of BMC’s new office at Kalyan Mandap in Unit 8 area in the city. The construction work will be completed within three years at a cost of Rs 50 crore.

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