Odisha gets first-ever Water Quality Assurance Cell to enhance urban supply standards 


Bhubaneswar, February 20: The Odisha Government’s Housing & Urban Development Department on Tuesday inaugurated the first ever State-level Water Quality Assurance Cell (WQAC).

The Cell will facilitate improved water quality monitoring and surveillance with strong vigil and ensure zero failure in water quality parameters in the water supply system, starting from intakes to consumer taps in all cities across the State.

Er. Sisir Kumar Ratho (Retd. IFS), Ex-Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Odisha, has been appointed to lead the Cell as the Principal Advisor (Water) in the Department. An MoU has been signed with IIT Madras to provide technical advisory services to the Water Quality Assurance Cell as required.

Addressing the gathering, G Mathi Vathanan, Additional Chief Secretary, Housing & Urban Development Department, Odisha, said, “Odisha became a live example of demonstrating the 24×7 urban drinking water supply with its transformative Drink from Tap Mission globally. Quality assurance is always a key component to ensuring the consistent and safest quality of water supply to every urban household for continued customer confidence and sustainable service delivery.”

“Today we are one step ahead by setting up the Water Quality Assurance Cell with a specialized team exclusively for regular supervision and surveillance of water quality monitoring activities independent of PHEO & WATCO,” he added.

Till date, the Department has one State level Water Testing Laboratory along with eight Regional Laboratories, Lab on Wheels in already declared Drink from Tap cities, and the community partner Jal Sathis play a pivotal role in testing water directly from the consumer’s tap in all cities.

The Cell is intended to broadly review and monitor the water quality monitoring activities of PHEO & WATCO on a regular basis, recommend improvements in the water quality monitoring framework & modalities and ensure their implementation, develop standard operating procedures for water quality monitoring, examine water quality-related incidences, and recommend mitigation measures.

Among others, Er. Sisir Kumar Ratho – Principal Advisor, WQAC; Er. Ratindra Narayan Mallick – EIC, PHEO, Er. Prasant Kumar Mohapatra – EIC, OWSSB; Er. Pradipta Kumar Swain, CEO, WATCO, Er. Sarat Chandra Mishra – COO, WATCO, Dr. Ligy Philip and Dr. B S Murthy from IIT Madras were present during the Cell inauguration.

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