The move comes with the opening of four new water bottling plants. These plants in Nagpur (Maharashtra), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Hapur (Uttar Pradesh) and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), would help the national transporter meet 50% of the total demand for water on trains.
Rail Neer mandatory at railway stations! Indian Railways, in a bid to expand the business of its bottled water brand, has made Rail Neer sale mandatory at 74 more railway stations, states an HT report. At present, there are nearly 3,000 stations across the country, where the sale of Rail Neer is mandatory. According to the report, the move comes with the opening of four new water bottling plants. These plants in Nagpur (Maharashtra), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Hapur (Uttar Pradesh) and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), would help the national transporter meet 50% of the total demand for water on trains. According to a railway official quoted in the report, until 2018-19, Indian Railways produced six lakh litres Rail Neer, even as the daily water requirement was 16 lakh litres. With the opening of the four new plants, the total production will reach eight lakh litres daily.
According to the official, earlier, Rail Neer was able to meet the requirement for 37% of the total water demand. By next year, Indian Railways is aiming to meet 75% of the demand as tenders for other plants are out and the railways’ goal is to meet 100% of the demand. He also said that Indian Railways has tied up with other vendors at locations where they are not able to provide Rail Neer. According to the report, the national transporter earned Rs 172 crore in the financial year 2016-17 through Rail Neer sales. The target for the financial year 2017-18 was Rs 190 crore and the railways managed to achieve the target.
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Another official was quoted in the report saying that for a further increase in Rail Neer production, Indian Railways will provide land either on its own or through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state governments. He further said that the railways is losing revenues as it is not able to meet even half of the water demand. However, once the remaining plants are commissioned, the production capacity of Rail Neer, as well as the revenues, will increase.
Rail Neer is produced by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) at seven plants, out of which two plants have been established under the public-private partnership (PPP) model. By the year-end, the number of water plants will be doubled to 16 lakh litre, according to Indian Railways.
It is mandatory to sell only Rail Neer branded bottled-water at railway stations like Rajkot, Kathgodam, Amravati, Gwalior, Godhra, Mathura and Bhopal as the plants are close to these locations, the report said.