CHENNAI: In a move to benefit the travelling public, who have to shell out a minimum of `15 for a one litre bottle of drinking water, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is installing water vending machines at stations, to sell the same for `8. Alternatively, passengers could refill their one litre bottle for as little as `5.
Speaking to Express, a senior IRCTC official said 190 railway stations falling within the Chennai division would have this facility.
“As part of the first phase, 25 machines have already been set up. The target is to install 75 machines by November,” the official said, adding that such machines are currently functioning in Chennai Central (10), Egmore (8) and Mambalam (2). The manned vending machine, Zero B, is developed by Ion Exchange Private Limited. While major stations on the MRTS network, including Velachery and Taramani, are also slated to get the facility, work on setting up four machines each at Tambaram and Beach stations is underway.
R Subramanian (58), a train user, however, recalled that such machines functioning in select stations in the past soon became non-operational. “The authorities must ensure that this facility is maintained well,” he said