After milk vends, Delhi to get water kiosks

New Delhi, May 21 :

After milk, Delhi citizens will soon be able to draw potable water from automated kiosks — for Rs 1.50 to Rs 2 Indian Currency (IC) a litre.

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in collaboration with Delhi Jal Board (DJB) plans to set up the first such kiosk by August 2006. Delhi not only faces a huge water crisis but the quality of water supplied by DJB is not entirely satisfactory.

“Looking at the acute shortage in Delhi, we have decided to build kiosks that will provide certified quality water. This will be a tripartite effort between TERI, DJB and the local community,” said Ashok Jaitly of TERI, “We will provide water free from any bacteriological contamination that meets all quality standards.”

“After reviewing the response to the pilot kiosk, it will be replicated in lower income localities of Delhi before next summer. We hope the initiative will be a huge hit,” he added.

The pilot unit would be built at Kalandar Colony in north Delhi at an approximate cost of Rs 350,000 IC. DJB will provide the water, while TERI will set up a 20,000 litres per day treatment plant.

“We will get the raw water from DJB and purify it in a treatment plant adjacent to the kiosk. Depending on their requirements, purchasers will have to buy tokens that they will have to drop into an automatic machine at the kiosk to draw water,” Jaitley explained.

The kiosks will function for 12 hours a day. Neighbourhood residents would be persuaded to form a cooperative to manage the kiosk. The income will be distributed between the local community, DJB and TERI.

“Under the project, the cooperatives would be trained to manage and operate the kiosk. These very people will also be responsible for the security of the unit.”