IIT-Kgp installs low-cost purified drinking water systems in two tribal villages

Kolkata: IIT Kharagpur has come up with two unique low-cost purified drinking water supply system at two tribal villages in Kharagpur in West Midnapore district.

The aim of the institute is to ensure that villagers have access to pure drinking water as these areas have lateritic soil with high percolation and evaporation of water.

The two units have come up at Porapara and Hurhuria villages on lands donated by two local villagers.

The fully automated multi-filter water purification units installed by Rural Development Centre, IIT KGP provide 200 households with close to 3,000 litre (15 litre per family) of purified drinking water every day at the nominal cost of Rs 1 per family. "The uniqueness of the projects are not merely the technology and design of the filtration unit, but also its participatory management. The units stand on land owned by two villagers, who donated them free of cost. The entire operation of the units, their upkeep and daily management are done by the villagers who have formed three committees to manage the operations of each of the unit. The current, and future, financial needs are to be met by the villagers from the funds collected in the form of daily payment (Rs 1 per family per day) for the purified water," said Dr Somnath Ghosal, associate professor of the institute's Rural Development Centre.

The villagers have been handed over water cards for procuring water from these two water ATMs. The cards will be recharged on the beginning of a month based on the number of days in the month.

Each unit costs Rs 7.5 lakh including construction of a 250 square feet room, boring, filter and vending machine installation etc. "We will be happy to do more such things through CSR funding since the technology and process are now well demonstrated through these projects," director of IIT KGP, Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said.

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