The RO plant opened at Kozhikode Old Corporation office premises stand out unique because of the interventions it had made into the life of common man of Kozhikode. The RO plant is producing and distributing drinking water to almost all the households and shops in Kozhikode city limits.
Kudumbashree had launched the idea of launching a Reverse Osmosis Plant to produce bottled drinking water, as part of the National Urban Livelihoods Mission Project being implemented in Kerala. And the first drinking water plant was constructed at the old corporation office premises. A five member team of Kudumbashree women was entrusted to supply the drinking water cans to 150 houses and residential apartments. A trail run was held for a week so that the members could make required changes when the operation turned into full swing. As the programme was found successful, the programme was officially launched on 5 June 2017, the Environment day. The bottled drinking water was named as ‘Theertham’.
The Community Development Societies (CDS) of the Kudumbashre project office of the city corporation is implementing the project with the help of New Delhi based Dharna Infrastructure Private Limited. The public need to give a nominal charge of just Rs 20 for 20 litres of pure drinking water. The plant is located at the old corporation office and has the capacity to produce 2000 cans of water per day. The CDS had dug up tube well to ensure continuous water for the supply. The treatment plant at old corporation office is using reverse osmosis technology to treat the filtered water. The water will be then purified through ultraviolet treatment. The purified water stored in the stainless steel tanks will be distributed after packaging in bottles and canes. They are supplying an average of about 300 bottles per day.The Bottled drinking water services has got a huge relevance in a city like Kozhikode as it is densely populated and Kozhikode city has evolved into a bigger market over these years.
The five membered team led by Smt. Latha is incharge of the initiative. A vehicle was hired for supplying the bottles to the needy and now they had got 2 vehicles to supply the bottles, as the need for Thirtham drinking water had increased. The group had taken loan and they are repaying an amount of Rs.50,000 per month and are investing their shares of their income for the smooth running of the initiative itself.The initiative was widely appreciated by the people very much that at times, the group even may fail to reach to them. It is planned to buy more vehicles for the smooth delivery.
The office had started receiving request from offices and educational institutions even when it was decided to a conduct trail run for a week by distributing water to houses and apartments. The Thirtham Drinking Water is affordable to everyone that 20 litres of water cost Rs 20 only which means that, it cost Rs 1 per litre. Till January 2018, they had sold around 30,000 bottles of water.
The nominal rate and good quality are the hallmark of Theertham packaged drinking water that more people are enquiring about the availability of the service even from distant places. It is also planned to start such RO plants in other places in the district in the next phase. The demand for purified drinking water can be better converted into an enterprise opportunity and the Mission intends to set 17 plants across the state.
'Theertham’, as the name implies is being the holy water, distributed to the people of Kozhikode in reasonable prices during this time of water scarcity.