The Western Railway (WR) on Friday said it has installed 161 water vending machines (WVMs) at stations under its jurisdiction, including 20 on the suburban section in Mumbai. The move by WR comes weeks after a similar exercise by the Central Railway. “In pursuit of the Railway Board guidelines, we have successfully installed 161 WVMs at different stations under WR. These include 20 WVMs in the suburban section of Mumbai (which stretches from Churchgate to Dahanu Road),” said a senior WR official.
“In the suburban section, one each machine has been installed at Borivali, Dahisar, Mahim, Elphinstone Road (now Prabhadevi), Mahalaxmi, Naigaon, Dahanu Road, Matunga Road, Saphale and Kelve Road stations and two each at Charni Road, Khar Road, Lower Parel, Palghar and Marine Lines,” he said. Thirty-seven WVMs would be installed soon by the IRCTC, an entity under Railways, said the official.
“The water quality would be checked regularly by health inspectors. In case deficiency is found in quality of water, suitable action would taken against the service provider,” he said. With the installation of these machines, potable RO (reverse osmosis) processed drinking water is now available to passegners at affordable prices across the Western Railway network. Commuters can purchase 300 ml of purified RO water at a price of Re 1, 500 water ml for Rs 3, 1 litre for Rs 5, 2 litres for Rs 8 and five litres for Rs 20.
Till now, the Railway had been providing drinking water at stations through water booths or water coolers after carrying out requisite treatment/disinfection. The Ministry of Railways has formulated a comprehensive policy for installation of WVMs at stations across the country. In case, the commuter is not carrying water bottles, the person manning these machines provides bottles at an extra cost.