Bhubaneswar: Odisha government is proposing to dole out bicycles to Mission Shakati members for collection of property tax in urban areas in the State. The success of Jal Sathi scheme in water tax collection in urban areas has encouraged the government to engage Mission Shakti in property tax collection.

Odisha is to the only State in the entire country to achieve 100 percent house connections in 85 out of 114 cities. As of now, as many as 740 Jal Sathis are managing 8.4 lakh consumers and water charges to the tune of Rs 67 crore have been collected.

“I am happy that Jal Sathi- a 5T Initiative launched 3 years ago on pilot basis- is today managing urban water supply consumers in the entire state of Odisha”, said the Odisha chief minister, here on Wednesday.

He added dentralisation and community partnership are the two eyes of Odisha model of Urban Governance and our Jal Sathis represent both. ” They act as a bridge between water supply authorities and the people bringing trust in water supply representing quality and dependence”.

“They contribute to significant improvements in metering, user charges collection, and eliminating illegal connections.”

Based on the success of Jal Sathi program, the Government has decided to partner with Mission Shakti groups in property tax collection in all the urban areas. This is aimed at increasing the revenue collection of the ULBs as well as empowering the Mission Shakti groups with more economic opportunities.

To facilitate easy mobility of the Mission Shakti partners in delivering various urban services, the Government has decided to provide bicycle support in the urban areas.

Drink from Tap Mission providing directly drinkable water round the clock adhering to International Quality Standards has been nationally and internationally acclaimed for replication.

Odisha’s Drink from Tap and Jal Sathi have become national priorities and are now included as part of AMRUT 2.0 for implementation in all the states.

Today, Urban Odisha along with Jaga Mission and Drink from Tap Mission has become a success story and this success could not have been possible but for the achievements made in community partnership initiatives such as Jal Sathi.

We are proud of our Jal Sathis and other Mission Sakthi groups partnering with the Government in various programs.

Empowering community partnership in governance will result in improved citizens participation and improved quality of governance and will ultimately lead to empowered Odisha.