An ATM booth has been installed in the city’s Khulshi area from which people will be able to collect fresh water from January 1 by punching in their prepaid cards.
All the mechanisms of the booth are like an electronic banking outlet – thus the name. But after a customer punches in his or her card, instead of cash he or she will receive fresh water.
The pilot project is being implemented by a US company named Drinkwell, with assistance from Chattogram Wasa. The company will buy water from Wasa and sell it to customers after purifying it. Each litre of water will be sold at 60 paisas from the booth.
Wasa authorities said initially one booth was installed in the city. They have a plan to establish 100 more booths within the next one year.
Currently, they are working to install booths in front of the Wasa headquarters, Agrabad Wasa office and at Bahaddarhat of the city.
Engineer AKM Fayzullah, managing director of Chattogram Wasa, said the booth system is being used for selling water in the developed countries, including the USA.
“We’ve taken the initiative to sell water by card in Chattogram,” he added.
Drinkwell is a US-based social enterprise with offices in Kolkata and Dhaka that “works to enable organisations of every size – from small NGOs to public utilities – improve service delivery and provide clean water” in vulnerable communities.
Manzurul Alam, area manager of the company, said water 3 times purer than that of Wasa will be supplied from the booth.
Customers can collect a rechargeable ATM card at cost of TK 200 from the company representatives. They will be able to recharge any amount starting from Tk 50.