After low-cost tiffin centres,Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa today launched a scheme to provide 1 litre mineral water at Rs. 10 a bottle, to ensure quality and affordable drinking water to the poor and middle class.
She inaugurated the state-run 'Amma Drinking Water' plant with a daily capacity of three lakh litres at Gummidipoondy, about 50 km from here, through video conferencing from the Secretariat and launched the sale of the water bottles. The plant has been set up by the State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) through the Institute of Road Transport (IRT), a society under the auspices of the state government.
"For the first time in India, drinking water plants are being set up by government transport corporations to provide safe drinking water at low cost to the people," an official release said. The water will be available in a plastic bottle with the word 'Amma' (mother in Tamil), as Jayalalithaa is addressed by her partymen. This is the latest in a series of pro-people measures taken by the Jayalalithaa government. Recently, it had launched 'Amma Canteens' that offer breakfast, lunch and dinner at highly subsidised rates.
Besides, vending outlets selling vegetables at subsidised prices and offering rice at Rs. 20 a kg to all people in addition to free rice for ration card holders are among the other welfare schemes launched the government. The mineral water plant has been set up on 2.47 acres of land at the premises of the IRT at Gummidipoondy, an industrial town in adjoining Tiruvallur District.
The plant has the capacity to produce three lakh litres of water a day. The packaged drinking water will be available in 1 litre units. It will be available in all long-distance government buses and bus terminuses in Chennai and other districts. The release also said the scheme would be extended to nine more locations in a phased manner. The state-run transport corporations functioning in districts will implement the scheme in the extended regions.