An ATM booth of fresh water installed in the Khulshi area of Chattogram city will be opened to the city dwellers from 1 January where people can collect fresh water by swiping the prepaid cards provided to them.
The booth works like an electronic banking outlet where fresh water will be released instead of cash after a customer swipes the card.
The pilot project is being implemented by a US company named Drinkwell, with assistance from Chattogram Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA). The company will buy water from WASA and sell it to customers after purifying. Each litre of water will be sold for 0.6 taka 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 water booth 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 200 taka from the company representatives. They will be able to recharge any amount starting from 50 taka.