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WATCO Empowers Women: Signs Pact with Mission Shakti for Water Treatment Plant Operation

Berhampur: In a pioneering move to empower women and promote gender inclusivity, the Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO) has signed a significant agreement with Mission Shakti Women Self-Help Group (SHG) City Level Federation based in Berhampur. The agreement entails the operation and maintenance of the Jagadalpur Water Treatment Plant (WTP) by 30 selected members of the Agrata City Level Federation.

The Jagadalpur WTP, with a capacity of 60 Million Liters per Day, stands as the largest water treatment plant in South Odisha. It caters to the safe drinking water needs of the areas falling under Ward No. 1 to 42 of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC), serving a population of 4.5 lakhs.

The signing ceremony took place in the presence of G Mathi Vathanan, Additional Chief Secretary, Housing & Urban Development Department, Government of Odisha, who highlighted the significance of the initiative. He noted that this pioneering agreement is a testament to the commitment of Hon’ble Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to empower women both socially and economically.

Thirty members of the Agrata City Level Federation will undergo a 12-day technical training program at the Odisha Urban Academy in Bhubaneswar, commencing on March 11. This training will equip them with the necessary skills to assume the daily responsibilities of operating the water treatment plant efficiently.

G Mathi Vathanan expressed the government’s commitment to engage more women SHG members in similar technical assignments to operate water treatment plants across the state in the near future. This marks the first instance in Odisha where women SHG members are actively involved in the round-the-clock operation of a water treatment plant, reflecting a paradigm shift towards gender-inclusive practices.

WATCO has been at the forefront of engaging women in water management, having previously enlisted the services of hundreds of Women SHG members as Jal Sathi since 2019. In 2022, the corporation also engaged 31 transgender SHG members for the 24×7 Operation and Maintenance of its 8 MLD Water Treatment Plant in Pratap Nagari, Cuttack.

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