HYDERABAD: Just11 months after 140 mineral water ATMs were installed across the city, most of them have gone dry. In January 2018, GHMC installed these water ATMs across the city.The idea was to dispense half litre clean, potable drinking water for just `1 and 10 litres of `5. Now, they are just an eyesore. Most of them have been broken or stopped functioning.
Express visited several water ATM centres and found that in many of them — like at NTR Marg, BS Maqta and Musheerabad — coin slots were damaged, outlet pipes broken and steel tumblers stolen.
This is probably why footfall has reduced at many of these ATMs. The thirsty and needy see the structure everyday, but cannot quench their thirst.
Anganwadi teacher P Sharada says the Musheerabad kiosk is installed right next to her centre. “But, what is the use. The machine has not been functional for the last six months. We continue to depend on private water supply,” she says, adding that repeated pleas to GHMC officials went unanswered. A representative of Nature String Eco Tap, the private partner responsible for maintaining the water kiosks, admits they are aware that “few” machines are not working.
“The coin insert system has been damaged in some machines, in few others the electricity supply has been cut,” says S Ramachandra of Nature String Eco Tap. He suspects this could be the handiwork of local water vendors, who feared loss of business. “We have technicians visiting the kiosks once every two days. If anyone is interested in leasing the machines, the company is ready to hand them over,” says A Deepak, maintenance in-charge of the company.Are everyone washing their hands off in “mineral-rich” water?