By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, October 13, 2020: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday virtually launched the ‘Sujal- Drink from Tap Mission’ at an estimated cost of ₹1300 crore here. All households in the urban areas of the State will have piped water facilities by March 2022, officials said.

With this, Odisha became the first State in the country to provide quality drinking water, fit for direct consumption, in urban areas, state Housing and Urban Development Minister Pratap Jena said.

The initiative is expected to benefit more than 15 lakh people in the cities, he added saying that the first phase of the project will cover supply of drinking water to Bhubaneswar and Puri.

“Odisha is the first state in India, where people in urban areas will be able to drink water directly from taps, under the government’s new initiative,” Mr. Jena stated.

Mr. Patnaik, on the occasion, said the initiative, for which the state is spending ₹1,300 crore, will be extended in a phased-manner to other districts.

The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction over the Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO) taking up the job of training plumbers in the state.

“Bhubaneswar, with over 10 lakh population, is the first city in India to have 100% piped-water facility”, Patnaik said saying that by March 2022, all households in all urban areas will have the connection.

The Drink from Tap Mission will be executed in 15 cities, benefitting over 15 lakh people, the CM added.

United Kingdom-based NGO Water Aids CEO Tim Wainwright, who joined the launch programme over a video conference, lauded the Odisha government for its initiative.

Mr. Wainwright said he would provide all possible support to the coastal State’s new project.

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