Not only that, inhabitants of Madhusudan Kanti village in Gaighata block of North 24 Parganas district are also packaging the safe water and selling it to neighbouring villages, a release said.
“This is an innovative model from a joint venture of Sulabh International and French organisation 1001 Fontaines, which through various stages of purification provides safe drinking water from any water body like rivers or ponds.
“This is the first time in the world that we have succeeded in producing pure drinking water at a very nominal cost with this new technology and villagers may get direct benefit,” Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak said in the statement.
The water purification process has a capacity to produce 8,000 litres of potable water per day at a cost of 10 paise (Rs.0.10).
“It will be sold at 50 paise after including other costs like distribution, storing, etc. Even people in neighbouring villages can also safely use this water,” Pathak said.
The pilot project was initiated in three Bengal districts – North 24 Parganas, Murshidabad and Nadia – a few months ago and trial runs proved successful.
The installation cost of the machine comes to Rs.20 lakh, which was shared between the two organisations and the villagers.
“The villagers and local NGOs are going to maintain it. It is a self-sustainable project with active participation from the villagers and will generate employment,” Pathak said.
According to the World Health Organization, drinking arsenic-rich water over a long period results in various health hazards, including skin problems, skin cancer, cancer of the bladder, kidney and lung, besides other diseases.