CHENNAI: Quenching the thirst of passengers, water vending machines selling chilled potable water have been installed at Central Railway Station, ahead of the grueling summer. Commuters can buy 300 ML of cold drinking water for just Rs1 to five litres at Rs25 from these kiosks set up on the station platforms.
The initiative implemented under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model by IRCTC across several railway stations in Southern Railway will have 13 kiosks at Chennai Central alone. “Presently, two water vending machines have been installed, providing water processed through the reverse osmosis system.
Pricing of water ranges anywhere between Rs1 and Rs25 depending on refill or water with plastic bottles. While 300 ml of water is sold for Rs1, people should pay a rupee more for carrying it in a bottle. Similarly one litre of water for refill costs Rs5, which comes with a bottle by adding three rupees in addition. Around 500 litres of water is being sold from each of the two kiosks, sources said.
Though similar facility was available at railway stations few years ago, official sources said that new water vending machines are installed as per a recent policy on providing potable water at affordable prices. “A total of 381 water vending machines would be installed in several railway stations of Southern Railway. Egmore railway station will also have kiosks offering chilled water to passengers,” the official said.
Even as commuters welcome the initiative, some observed that the taste was not matching with leading packaged drinking water. “The rates are comparatively cheaper than the branded bottled water. But, I feel that the taste of water does not match with the branded ones,” Abdul Salam, a businessman from Erode, who was travelling to Bihar said.