Water ATMs bring smiles back on faces of villagers in Daloda

Mandsaur: Daloda, a tiny village, 16-kilometre from the district headquarters in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh stopped waiting for the state government and their local politicians of various hues to give them the much-needed clean water.

Instead, the village panchayat recently tied up with Prathmesh Enterprises — a private company — to set up an innovative ‘water ATM’ that locals refer to as ‘ATW’, or any time water to get clean and chilled drinking water.

According to information, the scheme will be inaugurated on May 16 here under Jal Trupti Yojana.

Panchayat will distribute swipe cards (similar to debit cards) to the villagers and they can swipe this card at kiosks or mobile van to get water.

The water will be dispensed via a system similar to cash points, with self-service kiosks that would supply one litre of water for Rs two and 20 litre water for Rs 10. Besides, the company has also designed one mobile van having RO filter system so that villagers can get water anywhere in the village.

Daloda gram panchayat with a population of around 11,000, could be the first panchayat in MP to go for such an initiative to ensure villagers got clean and fresh drinking water from RO system, said gram panchayat sarpanch Vipin Jain.

Jain said, “I wanted to get purified water for my people. People get infections consuming impure water and I wanted to do something for them.”

Explaining the system, Jain said villagers would put their coins into a slot machine and then place their plastic vessels under a large tap to collect their water. The water is from local wells, but purified in filters inside the kiosks and RO filter mounted on the mobile van which had 2,000 litre tank on it to cater to the need of villagers.

“Company is charging nominally for the service. It is returning 10 per cent of its total income from the project to us as we are providing place and water from local sources,” Jain said.

He said currently gram panchayat and company set up two kiosks — one each at Station Road Square and Pragati Square — as pilot project and once it got support from villagers, the panchayat would set up similar kiosks in other parts of the village.

The procedure is transparent as a card holder need not pay a single penny to the company, but gram panchayat provides cards to the villagers after they deposit a fixed amount with it.

“Cardholders can use their cards anytime, anywhere and those not having a card can get water by paying in cash,” Jain added.

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