NTR Sujala Pathakam Special Purpose Vehicle Guidelines GO 18

Government of Andhra Pradesh have taken a policy decision to implement NTR Sujala Pathakam to provide potable water of 20 ltrs for Rs.2.00 to each household. Accordingly, Government has issued guidelines vide reference 1st read above and 826 rural habitations have been covered with water treatment plants. These plants are mostly smaller plants with a capacity of 500 to 1000 ltrs per hour.

2. On the other hand a central large scale model of water treatment plant is tried out at Kuppam for about 11 habitations in and around Kuppam. This plant is meant for supplying 1.00 lakh liters of purified water at 20 distribution points.

3. The Department studied the efficacy of these two type of models;

(1) decentralized model with smaller plant and (2) centralized model with a bigger plant. For this Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS) was requested to make an assessment of both types of plants and CESS recommended centralized model. The Chief Engineer (Admn.,) RWS&S has recommended the centralized plant which has the advantages with regard to maintenance, financial, sustainability, management of asset and monitoring of the unit. Decentralized model has disadvantages with problems like finances, monitoring and lack of suitable manpower etc.

NTR Sujala Pathakam:

4. In his letter in the reference, the Chief Engineer (Admn.,) RWS&S has submitted a draft policy guidelines and MOU for establishing Cluster based approach model.

5. In the proposed guidelines, the issue which involves financial commitment is as follows:- Each of the centralized plants can serve about 30,000 population. Approx. cost would be Rs.1.00 Crore to 1.50 Crore depending upon the technology and capacity of water quantity to be treated. Some of the NGOs who are in the water sector have expressed their willingness to contribute 74% of the project cost with 26% support fund from the State Government. The State may require water treatment plants to the tune of about 1,000 plants to be installed in next 3 years. For the year 2016-17, it is proposed to install 150 plants.

6. Government after careful examination of the matter hereby permit to form a Special Purpose Vehicle to run this programme for monitoring the programme on day to day basis. The Special Purpose Vehicle shall be a not for profit company under Section 8 of the Companies Act which will have representation from Government and NGOs or Trust (s) who are interested to participate in this programme. Detailed Policy Guidelines are annexed to this order.

7. The Chief Engineer, RWS&S shall take further necessary action in the matter.

8. This order is issued with the concurrence of Finance Department.

G.O.MS.No. 18 Dated: 08-03-2016 GO.Ms.No.127, PR & RD (RWS.II) Department, dt.30.8.2014. From the CE (Admn), RWS&S Lr.No.T1DEE(T)/NTR Sujala Pathakam/2014 dt.18.11.2015.

NTR Sujala Pathakam Special Purpose Vehicle Guidelines GO 18


This document is prepared as a guiding framework for the approval and set-up of water filtration, purification and supply facilities (henceforth termed as Water Plants) to provide safe drinking water to the people of Andhra Pradesh with service oriented motive on non- profit basis. This framework is applicable for Individuals, Groups, Community Based Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Corporates, Private Institutions, Trusts, any other Non-Governmental Entities and Government bodies or Agencies other than the Rural Water Supply Department of Andhra Pradesh. These guidelines supersede any other guidelines issued so far by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh pertaining to Water Plants.

It has been observed that over the last many years various stakeholders like Individuals, Groups, Community Based Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Corporates, Private Institutions, Trusts, any other non-governmental entities and government bodies or agencies (henceforth termed as Water Plant Providers) have come forward in good faith to set up Water Plants with the primary objective of providing processed safe drinking water to the public of Andhra Pradesh. However, it has been noted that many of these Water Plants are unable to meet the primary objective of providing safe drinking water for a variety of reasons. These reasons include:

lack of financial sustainability in running Water Plants resulting in dead units and sunken costs in terms of resources;

unscientific way of choosing the Water Plant locations resulting in needless competition, drying of water source and negative impact on the environment;

absence of accountability structures to monitor and evaluate the operations and health of the Water Plant resulting in low quality unsafe water supply and reject water polluting the groundwater table;

non-availability of qualified manpower and timely technical support resulting in significant downtime of plants and/or even closure.

unscientific way of choosing water purification technology in contravention to the guidelines prescribed by the Government of India in the National Rural Drinking Water Programme1

Overall it can be said that there is a lot of enthusiasm in setting up the Water Plants by the Water Plant Providers as a service to the public, but sustainably running them over a long period of time is increasingly becoming the significant challenge. It has thus been noted that significant resources (time, energy and investment) of the Water Plant Providers, that have come into the state of Andhra Pradesh with an objective to serve the public by providing safe affordable drinking water, have either been under-utilized or mis-utilized. This defeats the core purpose of setting up Water Plants as a service to provide safe drinking water to the public. Moreover, it has to be noted that majority of Water Plants are using significant public resources, like source water, subsidized power and government land and label themselves as public service. This scenario necessitates for the Government to develop stringent overarching guidelines in the interest of larger public safety, environmental protection and for the longer term effective utilization of the resources to be brought in by the Water Plant Providers. These state-level guidelines are put forth with an intention of creating an enabling environment for the Water Plant Providers and for the larger public good.

This document is prepared in accordance to the National Rural Drinking Water Program to provide guidance in building sustainable safe drinking Water Plants in the State of Andhra Pradesh. These guidelines are duly respectful of the International and National water quality standards and should be read in conjunction with latest BIS standards on drinking water refer to IS 10500:20122. The safe drinking Water Plants to be set up

  • National Rural Drinking Water Programme, Framework for Implementation, issued by the Department of Drinking Water Supply, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India
  • BIS Standard on Drinking Water Specification, Rev 2, Issued in May 2012

further in the state of Andhra Pradesh shall be built and operated in accordance with the guidelines prescribed in this document. The existing water plants shall also be brought under the purview of these guidelines.


Application: Any Water Plant Provider interested in setting up of a Water Plant with an intention to provide safe drinking water to community at the government prescribed user charges is required to seek prior approval from the Department of RWS&S or those authorized by the Government of Andhra Pradesh from time to time.

Use of Purification/ Filtration Technologies: There are numerous commercially viable purification and filtration technologies available such as – Reverse Osmosis, Sand Filtration, Ultra Filtration, Electrolytic Defluoridation, Nano, Terafil, etc.. However, it is pertinent for any Water Plant Provider to scientifically choose a purification/filtration technology while setting up a Water Plant. Based on the quality of the source water the following technologies are recommended. The guidelines are provided considering only fluoride as contaminant, which is only identified contaminant in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in case any other contaminant is identified the technology for purifying the contaminant shall be adopted from the Handbook on Drinking Water treatment technologies issued by the ministry of drinking water and sanitation, Government of India.

Water Plant Provider can propose the use of any other technology and process or combination of different technologies without compromising the quality of output water, which is more economical and rejects less quantity of water within permissible quality limits and can seek approval from the Department of RWS&S or any Agency authorized by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Sl No Parameters of Source water Technology/ ies recommended
1) TDS >500mg/l, Fluoride> 1.5 mg/l, Reverse Osmosis coupled with UV, UF,
  Nitrate > 45 mg/l ACF and PSF or Nano Technology
2) Fluoride > 1.5 mg/l and all other Electrolytic Defluoridation or Ion
  parameters within IS standards Exchange Resin based purification or
    Nano Technology
3) Iron> 0.3 mg/l and all other Terafil Technology
  parameters within IS standards  
4) Turbidity > 2 NTU and all other Ultra Filtration technology
  parameters within IS standards  

*    Disinfection shall be integral part of all the treatments.

The output water, which is served as safe drinking water to the public shall meet the quality parameters as set in IS 10500:20124

Service Area: In Hub and Spoke model, Water Plant Provider shall choose the Service Area that has at least a unit of 15 contiguous villages/ habitations or up to 30000 population. The habitations shall be geographically connected to form a Cluster for accessibility. The production capacity shall be designed to meet the demand of the service area considered as at least 20 liters per day per household. The central treatment unit will supply treated water to 15-20 dispensing units located at convenient places to the public through stainless steel tractor mounted water tankers without direct human contact of treated water.

Handbook on Drinking Water Treatment Technologies, 2nd Edition, issued by The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in Feb 2013, prepared by CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur

BIS Standard on Drinking Water Specification, Rev 2, Issued in May 2012

Should the Water Plant Provider wishes to choose a Service Area lesser than what is prescribed here, specific approval should be sought from the Department of RWS&S or any Agency authorized by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Service Efficiency: The Water Plant Provider shall provide uninterrupted access to Safe Drinking Water for all the Users on 12 hours in day basis with a downtime not exceeding 24 hours. Water Plant Provider should provision for enough storage of safe water equal to the requirement for a day in the Service Area.

Operations Models: Keeping in mind the varied Geological and Demographic conditions like the availability of source water, terrain and the population density the following Operation Models are recommended in setting up Water Plants.


Sl Geological and Operating Description
No Demographic Condition Model  
01 Abundant source water, Hub & Centralized water processing and
  service area spread with the Spoke decentralized dispensing; the
  combination of urban and Model processed water shall be transported
  rural areas; and habitations (Centralized to the dispensing units in secure
  are densely distributed Unit) stainless steel tanks
02 Scarce source water, service Individual Processing and dispensing together
  area is completely rural area, Unit at an Individual Unit
  habitations are wide spread    
03 Service area is completely Mobile Unit Mobile processing unit with central
  rural area, average   coordination office, decentralized
  households per habitations   dispensing
  are less than 100    

Disinfection Technology: The processed water shall be exposed to proper disinfection method to retain “SAFETY” of the drinking water; The disinfection process shall be either Ultraviolet or ozone treatment, ensuring the safety till the point of dispensation to the User.

Reject Water Handling: The reject water from the processing shall be reused/ disposed as per the guidelines given below

Transparency & Accountability


The following data shall be recorded and updated on the online platform with access to the RWS&S and Public Health departments.

User Data:

Water consumption by the users in the Service Area need to be reported on a daily basis.

Water Data:

The quantity of source water, Product water, reject water, reused water on a daily basis at the Water Plant/s in the Service Area. The quality of the product water (pH and TDS) at the Water Plant in the Service Area.

Energy Data:

The units of electricity consumed by the Water Plants should be communicated on a monthly basis.

User Charges: The Users shall be charged the user charges as approved by the state government, which shall be decided from time to time and communicated to the public.

Open Information: The following communication shall be displayed at the Water Plant in both regional and English languages. The technical process used for treating the water

User charges

User Instructions

Quality certifications, Test results

Safety: The Water Plant shall be secure enough to avoid any vandalizing efforts, and the processes shall be secure enough to avoid any cross contamination and access to unwarranted groups. The Food Safety measures undertaken by the Water Plant Provider shall be demonstrated during the audit process.

Operation Staff: Every Water Plant should be handled and serviced by at least one qualified or trained personnel in water treatment. The following minimum staff shall be deployed at each plant and its operational area:

Water Plant Operator : Responsible to handle water processing units in the given cluster and also for money management.

Water Plant Maintenance Executive : Responsible to handle all the repairs and maintenance of processing plants and dispensing units in the cluster and also handles the registration and recharge activities for the beneficiaries.

Zone Manager : Handles a group of clusters for the efficient operations in achieving the Preset goals of the zone.

PRO : builds the effective communication system to advocate the people to consume safe drinking water on zone basis

Distribution Staff : supplies treated water to dispensing units.

Sustainability: The Water Plant Providers are encouraged to find social enterprise models (e.g. Door Delivery, Rural services, etc.) layered around the Water Plant to make it financially sustainable. However, the sustainability measures initiated by the Water Plant Provider should not compromise the core objective of providing safe drinking water to the public. The source water environmental sustainability lies with the RWS&S (in association with the concerned GP) Dept.

Adherence: Once the application is approved, the Water Plant Provider shall adhere to policy guidelines prescribed herein while setting up the Water Plant.

Any deviation to the policy guidelines, the Department of RWS&S or any other Government authorized body shall initiate measures of compliance. Non-compliance by the Water Plant Provider after 3 notices will result in the Department of RWS&S or any other Government authorized body to take over the Water Plant in the interests of larger public service and safety.

Provisions of Support from GoAP

These state-level guidelines are put in place for the larger benefit of the public and sustainability of Water Plants and optimum utilization of resources committed by Water Plant Providers. Towards achieving the objective of providing safe drinking water through setting up of Water Plants the Government of Andhra Pradesh will encourage Water Plant Providers by extending support at various levels.

Application Clearance: Department of RWS&S or any other Government authorized body will set up a single window system to process and clear all applications by the Water Plant Providers within a stipulated period of not more than 45 days from the date of application that is complete in all aspects.

Source Water: Source water supply to the Water Plant will be done by the Department of RWS&S or any other Government authorized body from project cost.

Subsidized Electricity: Water Plants will be provided electricity at subsidized rates per unit as decided by the State Government

Tax & Duty Exemption: Water Plants Providers will be provided exemption of State level taxes and duties in the setting up and running of the Water Plants adhering to these guidelines.

Financial Support: Not exceeding 26% of the project cost of centralized model.

Land Allocation: All the approved Water Plant Providers will be assigned land freely on lease basis as detailed below.

About Pavan

Advocate, Journalist and Founder of Telangana Navanirmana Sena From Mahabubnagar Email Me -- pavan@tgnns.com

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