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July 2021

Puri first Indian city to achieve 24/7 quality drinking water supply: Odisha govt

PURI: The holy town of Puri on Monday achieved a landmark with the launch of the ambitious ‘Drink from Tap’ mission by the Odisha Government. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated the project to the coastal town in a virtual event. About 2.5 lakh residents of Puri municipal area will now get potable clean drinking water 24×7 under the new project. Over 400 water fountains have also been installed in various parts of the town as part of the SUJAL: Drink from Tap Mission which will cater to millions of tourists. Addressing the gathering at Baliapanda, the CM said, with launch of the unique Drink from Tap Mission, a new chapter in the history of the State has been created. “Puri became the first heritage town in the country to get this facility. It is now in the league of international cities like London, New York, and Singapore to supply quality piped drinking water from tap 24/7,” he added. Reiterating his Government’s mission for safe water, Naveen said, quality drinking water is closely linked with human health, development index, and economy. To supply quality drinking water, the Government has increased its budget from ₹200 cr to ₹4000 cr in five years, he added. Apart from the resident of Puri,  2 crore tourists who visit the city they can get quality drinking water right from the tap without the need of storage and filtering. Drinking water fountains have been set up at 400 places, eliminating the need to carry plastic bottles, he added. Additionally, the Drink from Tap mission will reduce the generation of plastic waste by 400 tonne per annum. Naveen thanked the residents of Puri for their cooperation in making Rath Yatra a success. He applauded the role of Jalasathi volunteers operating under Mission Shakti. Recalling the damage inflicted by the FANI cyclone in 2019, Naveen said, he had visited Puri two days later and was disheartened to see the extent of the damage. “I have resolved to transform the abode of Mahaprabhu Jagannath into an international place of heritage. With blessings of Lord Jagannath and cooperation of residents, the Srikshetra project is making steady progress,” he said. Minister for Housing and Urban Development Pratap Jena described the launch as a landmark step by the Chief Minister to make Puri an international standard city. Very soon 16 more urban areas with a 40 lakh population would be included in the Drink from Tap Mission while efforts are on to implement this in all the urban areas of the state, said Jena. Executive engineer of Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) Puri informed that 110 modern public stand-posts along the Badadanda (Grand Road) and nine by the sea beach area have been installed besides existing 1100 stand posts in the town. The old stand posts are being replaced with steel pipes and taps. At present, 36 MLD clean drinking water is being supplied. About 135-140 litre of drinking water per head per day is provided to residents which is the highest in the country, he said. 5T Secretary VK Pandian conducted the meeting, while Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra and Development Commissioner PK Jena, and WATCO MD PK Swain were present. Source : Click Here

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Bengaluru advocate sues hotel for rounding off bill

BENGALURU: A city-based advocate and activist has approached Bangalore Rural and Urban Ist Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission with a complaint against a hotel for rounding off his bill to the nearest rupee and shortchanging him of 40 paise in the process. Activist T Narasimha Murthy, who filed the complaint under Section 35 of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, stated he visited the hotel near Infantry Road in March this year and his bill totalled 264.60. However, it was rounded off to Rs 265, something which Murthy terms an unfair trade practice. Seeking an explanation, he approached the hotel manager and others, but failed to receive a satisfactory answer. Requests made by Murthy to show directions or orders passed in this regard were also futile. “If the hotel collects an excess amount to the extent of 40 paise or 50 paise on the actual bill, it will earn lakhs of rupees annually by cheating innocent customers,” Murthy claimed. The commission heard the matter on Friday and adjourned it to August 20. “Perused the complaint and documents…The complainant is directed to take the photo of the notice prepared by this office in his mobile and send/deliver it to the opposite party personally or through WhatsApp and SMS to the effect of filing of the complaint, its register number and date for appearance,” the commission’s order read. PC Rao, president, Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association, said, “I will refrain from making any comments since the matter is sub-judice.” However, another hotelier told TOI there was no malafide intention behind rounding off the bill amount. “Since 50 paise coin or other coins of denominations less than Re 1 are not in use, we round off the amount to the nearest rupee. For example, if the bill totals Rs 264.50, we will round it off to Rs 264,” he said. Asked whether everyone follows the same rule, he said: “We are not sure. We will discuss the matter in our next association meeting.”

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