Cabinet decides to privatise their management through tenders in each taluk
Bengaluru: The State Cabinet has decided to outsource the management of water dispensing ATMs to private agencies to ensure 24×7 availability of safe drinking water to people.
It is also decided to have a smart card-based system for drinking water ATMs.
Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting here, State Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said that the State Government has decided to outsource the water management to private parties due to the poor management of water purifying units in rural areas.
The outsourcing will be done taluk-wise. Currently, 600 to 800 ATMs remain out of order due to technical glitches at any time of the day. Out of 1,800 water-dispensing ATM across the State, only 1,600 are functional.
RDPR will give Rs.15,000 per unit to contractors who get the contract to move ATMs from coin-based system to card-based system and Rs.3,000 will be given for repairing and maintenance.
With expenditure overshooting the revenue in the management of the ATMs, the Government will reimburse the difference through viability gap funding model to the agency for a five-year period costing Rs.233 crore for five years, he said.
The Minister also cited the lack of manpower in Gram Panchayat responsible for no maintenance of the water ATMs.
Moreover, the expenditure incurred for supplying a litre of drinking water was 35 paise, which was less when compared to the expenditure to be incurred.
At present, in Bengaluru, the residents are getting 20 litres of water at Rs.5 coin. This smart card will eliminate the issue of the coin shortage.
The Minister also said that many people drop metal or other material causing damage to the machine. Thus the smart card will reduce the issue of physical damages to the machines, he said.
Tenders would be called taluk-wise to ensure quick repair and easy maintenance. Moreover, taluk-wise tenders would also generate jobs to locals, he maintained.