A UN recognised technology that generates water from the air will now provide drinking water at six railway stations in the Mumbai Division of Central Railways.
Meghdoot, an atmospheric water generator (AWG), is a device that extracts water from ambient air using the science of condensation. This water will now be provided in kiosks at railway stations.
In June this year, this initiative was recognised by the United Nations Global Compact as a Global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Pioneer for Water Stewardship from India.
Maithri Aquatech Pvt Ltd. Has been awarded a contract for setting up 17 Meghdoot atmospheric water generator kiosks in the Mumbai Division of Central Railway under the ‘New, Innovative Non-Fare Revenue Ideas Scheme’ (NINFRIS) for five years, an official said.
The Railways will be paid a license fee of Rs 25.5 lakh per annum (Rs 1.5 lakh per year for each kiosk) for the kiosks at six station premises.
While Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Dadar will get five kiosks each, Kurla will have one, Thane will get four and Ghatkopar and Vikhroli will get one each.
Meghdoot-AWG uses innovative technology to convert water vapour in the air into fresh and clean drinking water. The technology allows operating in a wide variety of ambient temperatures (18C- 45C) and relative humidity conditions (25% – 100%).
It produces water within hours of being switched on and generates 1000 litres of water in a day hence it can be used as an instant solution for potable water.
The company has earlier collaborated with the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad to produce water.
While the idea is for passengers to use the water kiosks as refill stations for their bottles or containers at a given price — Rs 5 for 300 ml refill, Rs 8 for 500 ml refill and Rs 12 for 1litre — one can also get bottles for Rs 7 for 300 ml, Rs 12 for 500 ml and Rs 15 for a one-litre bottle.
“This technology is not dependent on known sources of water. We are tapping into the original source of water, so it is a nature-based solution. There is no wastage of water. It is a sustainable technology. It is like having water factories at stations,” said Naveen Mathur, CEO, Maithri Aquatech Pvt Ltd.
Mathur indicated that the Central Railways is not the only railway zone that is considering installing these water kiosks, but refused to divulge more details.
This technology already meets the requirements of domestic consumers in water-scarce locations, top Fortune 500 companies, large public-sector companies, hospitals, schools, under-served communities and many others.