January 21, 2009 1:11:12 am
The Indian Railways is all set to join the branded bottled water bandwagon. The railways has decided to set up a drinking water plant at the base of Malang Hills at Ambernath,the foothills of the Sahyadari Mountain range.
According to sources,in a years time the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) would be churning out Rail Neer,the packaged purified drinking water.
The site that has been chosen to set up the drinking water plant has a reservoir which is popularly known as GIP(Great Indian Peninsula) Railway Tank. Ambernath is one of the two places that has been finalised for setting up water treatment and bottling plant by the IRCTC. The other site for the purified packaged drinking water plant will be at Palur in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu. The IRCTC has already appointed Actuate Management Consultants for setting up the water treatment plants at Ambernath and Palur.
The plants will be run by IRCTC and we are aiming to sell 1.78 lakh bottles a day at a rate that will be on par with the rates of other players products in the market, said R D Sharma,group general manager,west zone,IRCTC.
The GIP Tank reservoir at Ambernath has a capacity to manufacture five lakh bottles a day. However,IRCTC would be producing 1 lakh bottles a day. Presently,the selling price of any packaged drinking water approved by the railways is Rs 12,which is Rs 2 lesser than that is available outside the railway premises.
Asked why would the commuters buy Rail Neer,if IRCTC plans to sell it at a rate that would be on par with the rates of other players products,Sharma said,The quality will be the USP of Rail Neer. Often one is left in doubt about the source of the packaged drinking water. The raw water has been tested by four different laboratories and the verdict is unanimous.
According to them,Rail Neer is one of the most pure drinking water available in India. The raw water has been certified as potable after treatment by Ion Exchange,Vimeta Labs,Reliable Analytical Laboratories,and National Agriculture and Food Analysis and Research Institute.
The Great Indian Peninsula Railway had acquired the Kakole lake in Jhambivali village at Ambernath and constructed a tank for providing drinking water to Kalyan railway station.
The lake that spreads across over 112 acres of land was used till three decades ago. It was left unused after local municipality began providing water to the railway station at Kalyan. Lying unused for many decades,the GIP tank has been turned into a picnic spot by those living in and around Kalyan.
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