By March 2020, six more plants - Nagpur, Sankrail (Howrah), Jagi Road (Guwahati), Bhusawal, Jabalpur and Una that are at an advanced stage of completion are likely to be commissioned.
Rail Neer drinking water has been made mandatory at railway stations and to step up the production to meet growing demand, IRCTC is setting up various Rail Neer plants across the country. A few years ago, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) was given the mandate to set up various Rail Neer plants across the country. The first Rail Neer plant at Nangloi, Delhi was commissioned on May 2003 and currently, 10 such plants are operated by IRCTC, producing 45% to 50% of the demand of packaged drinking water over Indian Railways.
Rail Neer: How does IRCTC treat raw water to get the finished water?
Activated Carbon: Removes bad odour, traps pesticide molecule through absorption.
Softener: Removes hardness
Ultra filtration membranes: Filter out all suspended impurities, colloidal particles and even dissolved organic impurities.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) membranes: Remove dissolved mineral salts and all residual contaminants including viruses and bacteria
Calcite Marble media: Corrects the pH (Hydrogen Ion Concentration) between 6.5 to 8.5 ensuring perfect balance.
Two Micron Filters – of sizes 1.0 micron and 0.2 micron once again trap any line contamination post Reverse Osmosis stage.
Ultra Violet (UV) Filters – finally destroy the unlikely presence of any Bacterial or viruses post Reverse Osmosis stage.
Ozonation – provides 100% dis-infection just prior to bottling and also ensures adequate shelf life.
State of art technology with fully automatic process for bottling is made use of.
The Rail Neer plant in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh is the third such plant on PPP model and the first plant with capital support provided by IRCTC. The corporation is providing land for the project, capital support of Rs 10 crore and minimum guarantee of Rail Neer production. Suryadev Food and Beverages Pvt. Ltd is the developer cum operator (DCO) of the plant and it will be operated for 10 years period. The production capacity of the plant is 1,00,000 bottles per day.
Some of the major railway stations to be supplied Rail Neer from this plant include Ghaziabad, Hapur, Agra Cantt., Gwalior, Mathura, Jhansi, Saharanpur, Haridwar, Moradabad, Dehradun, Bareilly stations among others. Also, the project is likely to generate direct employment for 60 people.
Moreover, to set up Rail Neer plant at Visakhapatnam plant, IRCTC has tied up with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), in which waste water is converted into distilled water through the process of multi-effect desalination utilizing waste hot flue gases. Then, required minerals are added into the distilled water in order to make it fit to consume.
By March 2020, six more plants – Nagpur, Sankrail (Howrah), Jagi Road (Guwahati), Bhusawal, Jabalpur and Una that are at an advanced stage of completion are likely to be commissioned. Additionally, Rail Neer plants will also be set up at Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, and Bhubneshwar. According to IRCTC, with new Rail Neer plants, nearly 75% to 80% of water demand over Indian Railways will be met.
Incidentally, Rail Neer by IRCTC has been awarded the title of “India’s Best Brand of the year Award 2018” by Berkshire Media LLC of USA.