Bindeswar Pathak (2nd left) fetches a bottle of water from the new plant.
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Kolkata: People at a remote village in West Midnapore district can now take home bottled drinking water at Re 1 per litre only courtesy the not-for-profit organisation Sulabh International.

Sulabh International Social Service Organisation (SISSO) has installed a drinking water plant at Panchberia village in Daspur block of West Midnapore with the aim to provide arsenic-free safe drinking water to the villagers.

Panchberia is one of the dry pockets in the district where the groundwater is contaminated by arsenic and this too becomes scarce in the summer. The plant inaugurated by Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak has a capacity to 10,000 bottles of varying volumes.

According to Pathak, the plant will cater to some 3,000 people living at Panchberia and nearby villages. The automated bottling plant, equipped with a sophisticated laboratory, will be operated by villagers including women from local self-help group provided training by SISSO, he said.

According to World Health Organisation, drinking arsenic-rich water over a long period results in various health hazards, including skin cancer, cancer of the bladder, kidney, and lung.