SUCCESS STORY: A DIFFERENT KIND OF ATM

Installation of Water ATM brings relief to locality

Water is considered as the drop of life. Especially during summer, water acts as a panacea. But, travellers passing through this road need to pay at least Rs. 10 to 20 to buy a litre of bottled drinking water. Scorching summer makes their life miserable and they are forced to buy such expensive drinking water. However, the water available during travelling may not be completely pure, and unpurified water may cause severe stomach ailments.

The Goangaon – 2 Gram Panchayat of Goalpokhar – 1 Block of Uttar Dinajpur District has recently installed a purified drinking water plant (Water ATM) and has gifted this to the locals and for the travellers passing through the area. This is an unconventional development project. Modern technology has been used for the installation of this drinking water plant. Till now, the citizens of the Gram Panchayat have witnessed construction of roads, culverts or installation of tube-wells as the only modes of development activities. However, this new initiative of the Goangaon – 2 Gram Panchayat, undertaken through the consultation and mentoring of the ISGPP-II, has fascinated one and all.

Solpara Bazar is a congested area in the Goangaon- 2 Gram Panchayat. This place is visited by at least 3,000 people on a daily basis. Buses travelling from Siliguri to Raigunj via Islampur pass through this area. A bus-stop also exists at this place. Accordingly, this particular place was chosen as the site for the project. The project was implemented by utilizing the grants from the 14th Central Finance Commission with a total expenditure of Rs.4,78,900/-. The project commenced on September 28, 2017 and was completed on January 22, 2018. The Gram Panchayat has entered into an agreement with a local self-help group for undertaking the day-to-day running of the project at a monthly expenditure of Rs. 1,000/-. This has resulted in increasing the own funds of the Panchayat and has ensured efficient management of the project. Now, the travellers as well as the local residents are being benefitted from this project. One can buy a litre of purified drinking water by inserting a one rupee coin into the machine. As a result, the users can quench their thirst with purified water which causes no harm to the body.

The Water ATM. was inaugurated on January 27, 2018 in presence of the B.D.O and D.N.O. of M.N.R.E.G.S of Uttar Dinajpur District. The presence of the Nirman Sahayaks of the various Gram Panchayats of Goalpokhar -1 Block during the implementation of this project has also motivated everyone.

‘We have been suffering from various water borne diseases like Diarrhea, Dysentery, Cholera etc. for a long time. We kept on sustaining our lives with the limited availability of purified drinking water due to lack of awareness, financial resources and excessive work pressure. We now have access to affordable and safe drinking water (tested for R.O and U.V.) free from iron, arsenic, fluoride etc. after the inauguration of this project. As such, the risk of water borne diseases has been reduced considerably. We thank the Pradhan and all the employees of the Gram Panchayat and all the employees of ISGPP Cell for this unique endeavour,’ commented the villagers. Sri Raju Sherpa, B.D.O. of Goalpokhar -1 Block said that, ‘the Gram Panchayats must try to increase their own funds along with their initiative to provide services to the rural populace. Proper progress can only be achieved through these endeavours. This project has set an example which will inspire the neighbouring Gram Panchayats.’

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