This Article is From Sep 04, 2013

At Karnataka's 'water ATMs', 10 litres of water for Rs 1

Residents from Kanakapura, who had to drink water from the borewell, now get clean drinking water from these kiosks

Bangalore rural: The Indian rupee may be crashing globally, but in a suburb in Banglore, just Rs 1 can fetch ten litres of clean drinking water. And the facility comes without hassles of standing in long queues. Kanakapura has got what locals call, 'Water ATMs'.

"The water quality is good. Earlier we drank borewell water, which was hard and contaminated. This is way better. For my family of five, we easily need 20 litres a day for drinking and cooking," says Jeyamma, a labourer, who inserts two one-rupee coins at one of the water kiosks in the area, and the massive utensil she is carrying, is filled with water in minutes.

Thirty-three such water kiosks, each costing Rs 12 to 13 lakh, have been set up in the Kanakapura constituency, which is represented by two brothers - MP DK Suresh and MLA DK Shivakumar.

The ground water levels in Kanakapura 
dipped to almost 1300 feet after a drought last year. Mr Suresh, from the Congress, ensured these water kiosks were set up well before the recently held by-election, which he won. The seat was earlier held by Janata Dal Secular president HD Kumaraswamy, who is now the Chief opposition leader in Karnataka.

"If the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, and other top politicians can drink mineral water, why not poor people? That is why we came up with this treatment plants to make clean drinking water accessible for many BPL families," Mr Shivakumar, the MLA from the constituency, told NDTV.

Mr Shivakumar, who has been reportedly eyeing a minister's post in the Siddaramaiah cabinet, is hoping that the water scheme, which is gaining popularity, continues to work as a vote-fetcher for him and his brother.