Delhi govt plans to expand ‘RO-ATMs’ across different locations. How will this help?
In July this year, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated Delhi's first ‘water ATM’ in Mayapuri Phase 2, providing RO-treated drinking water.
The Delhi government is taking steps to expand the installation of RO-ATMs in various locations, particularly in areas where water is supplied via tankers. During a meeting on Friday with the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and water resources minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal directed the deployment of these RO-ATMs as part of an effort “to eliminate the dependence on water tankers,” as reported by news agency PTI, citing a government statement.
In the meeting, Kerjiwal also assessed the state of water supply, the cleanliness of the Yamuna River, and the cleaning of both the trunk and peripheral sewer systems—an initiative occurring for the first time in Delhi. Kejriwal requested a comprehensive plan from DJB to ensure the complete cleanup of the Yamuna by June 2024.
During the review meeting, DJB officials reported that the DJB is currently producing 990 MGD (million gallons per day) of water, with plans to increase this to 1222.65 MGD. Groundwater extraction through tube wells is underway, with 224 tube wells already contracted for this purpose.
Previously, the Delhi government had aimed to install 500 water ATMs to provide treated drinking water through the Reverse Osmosis (RO) process to residents in slums and densely populated areas.
How will this benefit Delhi residents?
-In July, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated Delhi's first 'water ATM' in Mayapuri Phase 2, providing RO-treated drinking water.
-The government now plans to expand the deployment of RO-ATMs, primarily in areas reliant on water tankers, reserving tanker use for emergencies. Cardholders from the Delhi Jal Board can access up to 20 litres of free daily water from these ATMs. Any excess water will be charged at ₹1.60 per 20 liters.
-In areas with low water tables, 441 tube wells will be installed. Groundwater from seven locations will be treated in RO plants after extraction from lakes, supplementing the water supply.
-A central ammonia removal treatment plant is being established in east Delhi. The city currently operates 145 tube wells, pumping 18 MGD, with an increase to 27 MGD in progress.
-In Friday's meeting, Kejriwal instructed DJB officials to conduct a survey to identify additional tube well requirements in Delhi. He also demanded comprehensive report within a week, detailing the installed tube wells and their operational status.
-Teams led by senior engineers will be formed to assess the status of lakes, sewage treatment plants, water recharge, and recycling. Kejriwal emphasised swift RO plant installations at all seven lakes.
-The tender process for 24-hour water supply in east and northeast Delhi is already in progress. Kejriwal expressed concern about the pace of sewage treatment work, urging its acceleration for a cleaner Yamuna.
-Several RO plants, including those in Hari Nagar's Khajan Basti, Shakurbasti, Kalkaji's Deshbandhu Apartments, and Jharoda, have been installed, with 30 more in the pipeline. As many as 500 RO plants are planned for the city, positively impacting water access.
(With PTI inputs)