Mangaluru, (The Hindu): Southern Railway commissioned three water-vending machines (WVMs) at Mangaluru Central railway station on Saturday. At the machines, purified drinking water is available for as little as 1 for 300 ml (refill) and 2 (pet bottle).
M. Ahammed Bawa, a member of both Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Palakkad Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee, launched the facility on platform 1. Chief commercial inspector P. Suresan, Railway Protection Force inspector Feroz and others were present. While two machines are located on each end of platform 1, another machine is set up on platform 2.
WVMs are an initiative from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which deals with railway ticketing and catering aspects. Indian Railways and the IRCTC commenced the WVM initiative by dividing major stations into clusters. Cluster 132 of Palakkad Division comprises 27 units across nine stations. According to a communiqué, at present eight units are operational in Palakkad, Kozhikode, Thalassery, and Kannur stations (two each), while three are commissioned at Mangaluru Central. One will be installed at Mangaluru Junction.
The WVM is a fully automated vending machine which can filter 500 litres of chilled water an hour. The units will be functional from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, there will be a coin-operated counter of one litre dispensing water at odd hours. It has a seven-stage filtration process — multimedia filter, activated carbon filter, RO filter, one micron filter, five micron filter, mineral filter, and ozonator and UV filter.
Besides 300 ml, WVMs will dispense 500 ml of water at 3 (refill) and 5 (pet bottle), one litre at 5 (refill) and 8 (pet bottle), two litres at 8 (refill) and 12 (pet bottle), and five litres at 20 (refill) and 25 (pet bottle).
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