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December 16, 2009

Railways to provide quality water 24/7 in all stations with PPP model

     New Delhi: As a part of its ongoing efforts to provide better passenger amenities, the Railways Ministry has approved a new scheme to make available free quality drinking water round the clock at railway stations through the Reverse Osmosis (RO) process. The new scheme would run under the public -private partnership (PPP) model According to the Indian Railways, the scheme would allow private parties to install and operate water vending machines through commercial advertising route. The machines shall be required to dispense only RO processed drinking water and the machine provider would be allowed to advertise on the machines or on the frame used for covering the machines as per the approved guidelines with respect to aesthetics, public morale etc, the Railways said. The Ministry in a statement further said the water provided through these machines would not be allowed to be packaged and no charge shall be levied either from the passenger or from the Railway. The Railway Ministry would provide only electricity and water supply free for the processing of water. "The party would be required to ensure that the machine remains functional throughout the time and necessary maintenance is done regularly and Railways will monitor the functioning of the machines regularly and a suitable penalty clause may be added in the agreement, it stated. The Ministry also clarified that the advertising material, the number of machines and the location etc would be approved by the appropriate Railway authority. The arrangements under this scheme will be in addition to the existing arrangements for providing drinking water. The Rail Bhavan authorities have sent detailed guidelines and instructions for this scheme to all the Zonal Headquarters and have been instructed to invite applications from the interested parties.
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