Water Quality Assurance Cell launched in Odisha

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Dignitaries and guests during the inauguration of Water Quality Assurance Cell.

Bhubaneswar: The Housing & Urban Development department inaugurated a state-level Water Quality Assurance Cell (WQAC) here on Tuesday. G Mathi Vathanan, additional chief secretary, marked the event by emphasising the cell’s role in enhancing water quality monitoring and surveillance across the state’s cities.

Er. Sisir Kumar Ratho (Retd. IFS), former principal chief conservator of forests in Odisha, has been appointed as the principal advisor (Water) to lead the cell. Additionally, an MoU was signed with IIT-Madras to provide technical advisory services to the Water Quality Assurance Cell.

Vathanan highlighted Odisha’s global leadership in the 24×7 urban drinking water supply through its Drink from Tap Mission. He emphasised that quality assurance is crucial for ensuring consistent and safe water supply to urban households.

The Water Quality Assurance Cell aims to oversee water quality monitoring activities independently of PHEO & WATCO. The cell will review and monitor these activities regularly, recommend improvements, develop standard operating procedures, and examine water quality-related incidents, recommending mitigation measures.

Notably, the department already has a state-level water testing laboratory, eight regional laboratories, and a lab on wheels in declared Drink from Tap cities. Community partners called Jal Sathis play a vital role in testing water directly from consumers’ taps in all cities.

Er. Sisir Kumar Ratho, principal Advisor to WQAC, along with Dr. Ligy Philip and Dr. BS Murthy from IIT-Madras, were present at the inauguration ceremony along with other senior officers.

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