Ranga Reddy: Water ATMs turn into sightseeing machines
Lack of supervision leaves them dysfunctional
Ranga Reddy: In 2018, the Telangana government set up 140 water ATMs in the HMDA limits worth some crores of rupees with an idea to dispense half a litre clean, potable drinking water for Re 1 and 10 litres for Rs 5. Now, they are left over there lifeless as most of them have been broken or have stopped functioning and have turned inoperative due the lack of supervision and negligence of the officials.
Around 140 water ATMs were installed in the HMDA limits, out of the planned 200, among which 50 installed near markets and bus stops are completely dysfunctional. Water ATMs in commercial places like Rythu Bazars and local markets also report technical glitches. In the LB Nagar division none of the eight installed water ATMs are found to be working.
Several water ATM centres were found having damaged coin slots, broken outlet pipes and steel tumblers of a few were also stolen. There have been reports of technical glitches after people insert coins. Water supplying pipe remains unresponsive or broken and at most of the places the water ATM is switched off and left without maintenance. While the coin insert system has been found damaged in some machines, others had a cut in the electricity supply. Locals who used to completely depend on the water-vending machines are now forced to buy water bottles.
This is probably why the footfall has reduced at many of these ATMs. The thirsty and needy see the structure every day but cannot quench their thirst.