Jamshedpur : Faced with frequent complaints of unavailability of safe drinking water during scorching summer, railways have decided to install water vending machines at stations across the state.
However, the move to provide clean chilled water as part of the better amenities for passengers comes with a fee.
It will be charged at Rs 3 per glass and Rs 5 per bottle.
Chakradharpur railway division is geared up to commissioned a water purifier on platform 1. Railway officials said that it will be the first such water purifier installed at any station under South Eastern Railway (SER).
The water purifier, equipped with RO (reverse osmosis) system, is being provided by Ion Exchange (India. Passengers who carry their own bottles can get a litre of purified water at Rs 3, while those without their own containers would be charged Rs 5.
Being set up at a cost of Rs 10 lakh, the water purifier will be inaugurated by GM of South Eastern Railway, Radhey Shyam.
The facility will be run by B.K. Enterprises, an Adityapur-based private firm, for five years.
Tatanagar, an A1 category station, sees a footfall of around 50,000 passengers daily. It is on the Howrah Mumbai main line and several long-distance trains, including Rajdhani and Duronto, travel via Tatanagar .
“It has been decided to install water vending machines at busy stations in the first phase and gradually more stations will be provided with such facility,” said a senior official.
Besides complaints of unavailability, there are cases of over-charging of packaged drinking water by unscrupulous elements at stations. “We will be providing filtered water which will be safe for human consumption and we will charging a nominal fee for the facility,” the official said.
IRCTC, Railways’ catering arm, has been given responsibility for installing water vending machines at stations. The latest water purifying technique of reverse osmosis (RO) will be used in the vending machines for making available potable water to the travelling passengers and the general public visiting the stations.
In the first phase of the project, 2,000 water vending machines are proposed to be installed.
RO-based units would not lead to any leakage of revenue as the machines were metered with microprocessor-based accounted system.
Water will be available in measures of 300 ml, one litre and 5 litres and the passengers will have to bring their own container for filling water that will cost one rupee, Rs. 3 and Rs. 12 respectively. Food grade container will also be made available for sale separately.