Bengaluru: Thirsty this summer? Get 5 litres of pure drinking water for just Rs 1. With the price of water supplied through tankers soaring with the onset of summer and groundwater in many areas unfit for drinking, new ‘water ATMs’ or Community Water Centres are expected to quench the thirst of city this summer. The centres have been set up in slums and localities where urban poor live, but have no access to clean and affordable drinking water.
The centre uses water from public borewells that are certified unfit for drinking by the BBMP, purifies it and supplies it to the people. For 25 litres of purified water, the charge is only Rs 5. The water centres have been set up by Smaat India in K.R. Puram, Mahadevapura, Byatarayanapura, Devanahalli, Chikkalasandra and Konankunte. Over 700 such kiosks are operating in the state where the groundwater quality has depleted.
Mr Karunkara Reddy, founder of Smaat India, said that due to rapid urbanisation, the quality of groundwater in the city is depleting, directly affecting the water quality. As the water table goes down, groundwater is mixed with heavy metals making it non-potable. There are 568 public borewells in the city, but water from 168 borewells is not suitable for drinking.
“We target borewells where the water levels is very low and water is unfit for drinking. The water is passed through treatment plant where ultra-filtration, nano-filtration and ozonisation happens making water safe for drinking. Once the water start flowing into the storage unit, the people can start taking water by putting coins as per their requirement. We have also introduced smartcards where once can have credit limit for using water The treatment plant can treat 4,000 litres of water in one hour,” he said....