NEW DELHI: Passengers can now get chilled filter water at railways stations by paying between Rs 1 for a glass to Rs 20 for 5 litre.
With a view to improve the availability of potable drinking water for passengers, Ministry of Railways has formulated a comprehensive uniform policy for installation of Water Vending Machines (WVMs) at railway stations across the country.
The objective of this policy is to lay down guidelines to make available potable drinking water of prescribed standard to willing customers at affordable price through Water Vending Machines (WVMs) at stations. WVMs will provide pure drinking water in a much less price as compared to packaged drinking water.
“Pure water will be dispensed through these highly mechanized machines for the passengers at an affordable price. Water dispensed through the vending machine will conform to BIS specifications IS10500-2012 (specification for drinking water) test requirement within desirable limit. The water supplied through these machines will be frequently checked (at least once a month) through suitable device by the Health Inspector/ Medical Personnel,” said a senior railway official.
Under the policy, the installation of WVMs will be handled by Railway PSU, Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). WVMs can be installed only by reputed manufacturers or their franchisee holders or authorised agents. Water Vending Machine will be with Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology or alternate superior technology.
The cost and quantity of water dispensed will be displayed in a LED display so that amount is verifiable by the customer. The selection of the franchisee for installation of machines will be done by two-packet tender system so as to ensure that branded and reputed companies are engaged for this job.
The machines will have multiple dispensing tapes to facilitate maximum passengers to avail the facility simultaneously. Priority will be accorded to provide WVMs at locations where general coaches can have easy access.
In the initial phase, those platforms of the stations which are already provided with RO drinking water units supplying free water may not be provided with WVMs. Presently drinking water at stations is generally supplied through water booths or water coolers after carrying out requisite treatment. On select stations, RO drinking water units have also been provided.
The companies installing Water Vending Machines will provide adequate number of eco-friendly disposable tumblers of approved quality and design and water bottles of PET. The companies providing machines will also provide adequate number of dustbins of standard design with each machine.