The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has proposed to increase the prices to fill up one bottle by Re 1. The railway board has also approved the proposals for the new costs of drinking water at WVMs.
Soon you will have to pay extra for drinking water at Indian Railway stations! Passengers using the water vending machines (WVMs) installed at the railway stations for drinking water will now have to shell out Re 1 extra for one glass of water. According to a recent TOI report, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has also proposed to increase the prices to fill up one bottle by Re 1. The railway board has also approved the proposals for the new costs at the WVMs. According to an IRCTC official that Financial Express Online spoke to, the order will come into effect in the coming months.
Taking a comparative look at the changes made in the rates – earlier a 300 ml glass of water from the water vending machine was priced at Re 1. Now, passengers will have to pay Rs 2 for the 300 ml glass of water which takes into account the additional Re 1 for the glass. The earlier rates for purchasing half a litre of drinking water were Rs 3, and 1 litre used to cost Rs 5 and 2 litres was at Rs 8. Now, after the modified rates, drinking water in a container which was sold for Rs 2 will cost Rs 3. In a circular released by the railway board, PP Lathe, the Deputy Director (Tourism and Catering) of the Railway Board said that the IRCTC’s request for revision in the sale price of water dispensed through the WVMs has been examined by Railway Board.
In 2017, IRCTC declared that 1,100 water vending machines will be installed at 450 stations in 2017-2018 as part of its efforts to ensure clean drinking water at low cost in railway premises across the country. The water is dispensed through the provision of Reverse Osmosis (RO) in these machines. The WVMs are operated round-the-clock either manually or through the automatic mode.
In the month of September this year, IRCTC had issued an order after reviewing the tariff and menu of drinks and meals on board. Passengers had to shell out more to drink tea and coffee during train journeys as IRCTC had revised the rate to Rs 10 from Rs 7. Earlier, the caterers suggested to the Railway Board that all food items should be priced in multiples of five in order to help railway passengers and to reduce instances of overcharging. The Railway Board had asked IRCTC to change the licence fee accordingly and to adjust the price of the beverages as per requirement. At present, the catering corporation caters to around 350 train services that have pantry cars which operate within the trains. Additionally, several food and water vending machines have been installed at all railways stations across their platforms.