Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik launched the ‘Jalsathi’ programme which will ensure supply of safe drinking water to all households in the state. During the programme launch, he distributed water quality testing kits and POS (point of sale) machines to women volunteers being called as- ‘Jalasathis’.
About ‘Jalsathi’ programme
Implementation: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO) and women federations in Bhubaneswar (Odisha Capital) for implementation of ‘Jalsathi’ programme.
Coverage: Initially, the ‘Jalasathi’ programme will be implemented in as many as 8 wards of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) under the 5T initiative of Housing and Urban Development. The programme will be implemented in remaining wards of Bhubaneswar and other urban areas of state in next phases. The initiative will benefit abot 70 lakh people in urban areas.
Under ‘Jalsathi’ programme, about 5,000 women will be engaged for supplying safe drinking water. Earlier, the state government had also engaged women self-help groups (SHGs) under ‘Mission Shakti‘, for collection of power dues, paddy procurement, mid-day meal preparation activities. Therefore, the inclusion of woman volunteers from Mission Shakti for piped water supply where they will serve people as ‘Jalasathis’ will further boost their economic empowerment.
Jalasathis: The ‘Jalasathis’ will act as links between consumers and Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) or Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO). They will be responsible for water quality testing, collection of water charges, facilitating new water connections, regularising connections, facilitating complaints redressal, reassessment of demands, meter reading, bill generation and bill delivery.