The trend has caught up with many villages in Krishna district. There are about 250 families in the village, about 40 kms away from Vijayawada and majority of them prefer buying purified drinking water.
Lanka Ramamohan Rao, a resident of Veeravalli village, has the convenience of fetching drinking water from the panchayat tap, couple of steps away from his house but he prefers to buy purified water spending Rs.3 per 20-litre can.
There are about 250 families in the village, about 40 km from Vijayawada and majority of them prefer buying purified drinking water. As dawn strikes, people queue up at the Water Health India, a private company purification plant in the village, to purchase water.
“Earlier, we used to depend on panchayat taps for drinking water but were developing many health problems. Private companies are offering purified water at Rs.3 to Rs.4 per 20 litre can and it is no more a burden,” says Venkata Raja Gopal Rao, another resident of the village.
Raja Rao, operator at the Water Health India purification plant claims that everyday over 300 20-litre cans are sold. Village panchayat provided some land for the company to set up a plant and in return, it offers purified water at subsidised rates.
It’s not just Veeravalli village, a few kms towards Eluru from the city, one can witness similar demand for purified water in villages like Kanamolu, Arugolanu and others. Depending on the proximity and budget, villagers buy purified water from different private plants, spending about Rs.3 to Rs.8 per can.
Most villagers have learnt the importance of consuming safe and clean water. They have understood that it is good to spend Rs.3 for a drinking water can than spending hundreds in hospitals, says Vikas Shah, Chief Executive Officer of Water Health India, which operates over 70 water purification plants in different villages across Krishna district.
Private companies set up a water purification plant at a cost of about Rs.3-5 lakh. But most plants are operated in summer season and shut their stalls in July after making brisk business. However, quality does differ at each plant.
Call it convenience or awareness, the trend has caught up with many villages in Krishna district. “Panchayats cannot set up a purification plant from its budget. People are no more interested in drinking water from canals or taps for different reasons. Hence, they buy water from private plants,” says U. Venkateswara Rao, Sarpanch of Arugolanu village.