Indian Railways to tackle the problem of insufficient water supply for commuters
Indian Railways has decided to tackle the problem of insufficient water supply for commuters and monopoly supply of bottled water at stations here in Mumbai. On June 9, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw promised to look into the matter. The railways say that to start in this direction, the Central Railway has issued a tender for the installation of water dispensers.
On Thursday and Friday Vaishnaw traveled to Mumbai and inspected important stations of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Churchgate. On June 9, Vaishnaw was informed about the issues with water availability at railway stations here in Mumbai.
This particularly concerned the sharp increase in demand for bottled water, especially during the summer, and the availability of Rail Neer bottled water at stations is becoming an issue. Rail authorities agreed that passenger associations have complained about the monopolistic approach to the availability of bottled water.
The minister told reporters that he will definitely look into why only one brand of bottled water is available at railway stations here in Mumbai. Coincidentally, a few weeks ago the Central Railway had decided to look for other brands of bottled water at stations and make it available to commuters.
Senior railway officials have said that to counter this they are also appointing contractors to install water vending machines at 34 railway stations which will ensure people get 1 liter of water for 5 rupees instead of spend 15 rupees for bottled water.
Sources in the railways said to install these WVMs at Reay Road, Cotton Green, Sewri, Wadala, Parel, Sion, Mankhurd, Thane, Mulund, Bhandup, Mumbra, Neral, Matheran, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Vasind, Atgaon, etc. . stations.
The size of the WVMs will be 30 square feet and the tender has been out for 5 years, during which time the private contractor will be appointed. WVMs sell water at Rs 2 for a 300ml glass and at Rs 3 with their own container. For a 1 liter bottle, WVM will provide water at Rs 5 and Rs 8 will be taken from a canister for refilling.
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