Water vending machines at Kachiguda railway station
To make purified water available to railway commuters at a reasonably low price, the Indian Railways is installing water vending machines using Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Purification Technology at major railway stations.
Hyderabad: To make purified water available to railway commuters at a reasonably low price, the Indian Railways is installing water vending machines using Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Purification Technology at major railway stations. The RO technology removes extra totally dissolved salts (TDS) and bacteria from the water. Three of such water ATMs have been installed at Kachiguda Railway Station on experimental basis. Water ATM is a unique initiative to deliver pure, chilled water to passengers at a very low cost.
These water ATMs would be maintained by Self Help Groups with an aim to generate employment. On Platform Nos. 2 and 3 at the Kachiguda station, a crowd of commuters make a bee line to a small kiosk every time a train stops. Shaik Salauddin works with dedication behind the counter, dispensing water from the ATM to customers— it is Rs 2 for a glass of RO purified water, Rs 8 for a one-litre bottle and Rs 3 to fill a customer’s own 500 ml bottle.
Shaik’s stall was one of the first water vending machines installed at the station by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). “The idea was to ensure clean water at all stations at affordable rates.
When it was installed in 2016, only office-goers would buy water from her stall, says Shaik Salauddin “But today everyone does, daily wage workers as well as the homeless who live around the station.” Kachiguda Railway Station is all set to become the first digital payments-enabled station of South Central Railway. From now on, one need not worry about change for water as with facility of digital payment passengers can pay by debit/credit cards or through PayTm services.