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Surging Demand for Drinking Water at Patna Junction Amid Scorching Heat

By Neeraj Kumar

Patna, June 22: The soaring temperatures have significantly increased the demand for drinking water at all major railway stations, including Patna Junction. Passengers rush to buy water as soon as the trains halt. Sources indicate that approximately 29,500 to 30,000 liters of Rail Neer are consumed daily at the junction, compared to the usual 15,000 to 18,000 bottles sold on other days. The divisional railway administration has directed the provision of maximum Rail Neer at smaller stations, alongside those designated for Rail Neer distribution.

Additionally, around 10,000 water bottles are sold daily from water vending machines installed on various platforms. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) operates the Danapur Rail Neer Plant, supplying water to many major stations in the division. One liter of Rail Neer is available for Rs 15.

Experts note that the high demand for Rail Neer is causing supply issues, as passengers prefer it over more expensive bottled water from other companies. Besides Rail Neer, filtered cold water is available for Rs 5 per liter at the junction through water vending machines located on platforms one, four, five, six, nine, and ten. The railway plans to install more machines on other platforms in the future.

Since April, with the onset of summer, Rail Neer sales at Patna Junction have surged. Sales figures show 18,500 to 23,000 bottles sold daily in April, 27,000 to 29,500 in May, and 25,000 to 27,000 in June so far. Normally, 12,000 to 15,000 bottles are sold daily at Patna Junction.

Rajesh Kumar, Joint General Manager of IRCTC Patna Regional Office, stated that the demand for bottled water rises during summer. To ensure passengers have an adequate water supply, all responsible officers and employees have been instructed to meet the demand for Rail Neer. There should be no shortage of Rail Neer at any station.

The author is a journalist based in Patna


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