The city will get cheap purified water around the clock soon as the Vellore Corporation is taking steps to set up at least four water ATMs in the first phase.
Major spots like Christian Medical College, new bus terminus, farmers’ market in Katpadi and fish market complex were shortlisted for setting up the water ATMs. Later, the project will be extended to all 60 wards of the Corporation with each ward having at least one such ATM. “For school students and those who are thirsty, they can drink water up to one litre from these ATMs free of cost. The idea came up after I visited girivalam path in Tiruvannamalai where a similar system is in place,” Vellore Mayor, Sujatha Anandakumar, told The Hindu.
Modelled on the lines of water ATMs in Maraimalar Nagar municipality near Chennai, they will be set up in civic-body owned land, measuring at least 900 sq.ft for each facility. Each ATM will have a water treatment plant, storage facility and delivery point with four taps for consumers.
With a processing capacity of 1,000 litre per hour, each plant will be operational round the clock. The facility will also have at least 2,000 litres of purified water in containers. The devices also have the option for providing chilled water during summers.
Each family will be provided with a recharge card and can collect up to 40 litres per day after swiping it in the automated water machine. The recharge card can be used anywhere in the State to draw water from similar water ATMs. A nominal fee of ₹8 will be charged for every 20 litre bubble can. The fee collected will be used towards the plant’s maintenance and salary of the plant operator.
Corporation Commissioner P. Ashok Kumar said a Hyderabad-based company would be setting up these plants and also maintaining them. They would also pay a water royalty fee to the Corporation. The water ATMs will be operational in three months.