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Delhi government’s new bet before MCD elections, plans to install ‘RO water ATM’ in slums

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Slum-dwellers in Delhi will not have to stand in long queues for water tankers as the government plans to install around 1000 ‘RO water vending machines’ by the end of next year that will work round the clock.

A government official said that ‘Water ATMs’ would be installed at existing tube wells in government centers such as the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board. The proposal comes ahead of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections to be held in April 2022. The official said that work on the project will start by April 2022 and will be completed by December 2022.

He said that these water distribution systems would gradually replace tankers. The people living in the slums (JJ clusters) are caused a lot of inconvenience due to the tankers. The official said people in slums have to wait in hours-long queues for a tanker, which empties within 15 minutes of reaching the area. Sometimes the tanker does not reach them. Now RO-filtered water will be made available round the clock through these distribution systems.

100 kiloliters of water i.e. 250 to 200 liters of water per day per family will be provided for every 500 households or 2,000 people. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is also considering providing a card to each household so that each family gets a certain amount of water daily.

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The official said that there would be a proper mechanism to check the excessive use of water. A certain amount of water will be supplied per family per day. There will be no queues and long waits as this vending machine will work for 24 hours. By installing such a machine, the availability of water per family will also increase. According to the official, a DJB tanker carries 3,000 liters of water and even if five tankers are sent to an area in a day, people get a maximum of 15,000 liters of water, but a vending machine here will produce one lakh liters of water.

Taking into account the salaries of the drivers, fuel and other operating and maintenance costs, it costs DJB Rs 150-200 to supply 1000 liters of water through tankers. He said that the cost per 1000 liters of water through the vending machine would be much less.

Another official said that in transporting water from one place to another by tanker, huge amount of water is also wasted. Also, only four out of 10 tankers reach their destination, so the emphasis is on installing GPS systems on all of them. About 6,000 tankers supply water to the slums. The government will use advanced RO system in the vending machine to reduce the wastage of water in the purification process.

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