The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is planning to install 1,100 water vending machines across 450 stations in 2017-2018. The primary motive of this step is to ensure the availability of clean drinking water at reasonable rates in rail premises across the country. These machines will dispense a glass of 300 ml water at just INR 1.
In a series of tweets, the Railway Ministry said that these water vending machines (WVMs) will not only provide clean drinking water at low cost but is also an initiative that will help in generating employment for around 2,000 people. At present, there are 1,106 WVMs at 345 stations in the country, the ministry said.
Initiated in 2015, the project of setting up the water vending machines came with an intention of supplying uncontaminated water at nominal rates. The water is dispensed through the provision of Reverse Osmosis (RO) and the machines are managed around-the-clock, either manually or through the automatic mode.
According to the ministry, “The water dispensed through these machines will be much cheaper than bottled mineral water”. A glass of half a litre water will cost INR 3, while a litre will be available at a price of INR 5, two litres for INR 8 and a can for INR 20.