The Central Railways installed atmospheric water generators (AWG) called Meghdoot in six railway stations in Mumbai. The machines will directly harvest water from the air and the commuters can refill their bottles for Rs 12 per litre and Rs 8 for 500 ml.
The Railways installed 17 kiosks across six major stations, including five each at CSMT and Dadar, four at Thane, and one each at Kurla, Ghatkopar and Vikhroli.
The machine that utilises the science of condensation to extract water vapours from the atmosphere has been developed and manufactured by a Hyderabad-based start-up Maithri Aquatech in collaboration with the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad. The machine will make water from ambient temperatures ranging from 18 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius.
Working of Meghdoot Machine
Meghdoot sucks atmospheric air through an electrostatic filter and cooled coils located in the path of air provide a temperature differential between the air and the coil surface resulting in condensation.
The water is then filtered to remove solids, odour and any bacterial content. The water will also get an Ozone treatment.
The kiosk is made of food-grade stainless steel which allows the water to remain fresh for several days and produces around 1,000 litres per day.
According to railway officials, the Railways will earn Rs 1,50,000 per year for each kiosk totalling an amount of Rs 25,50,000. The ‘Meghdoot’ was launched under the Railway’s green initiatives and water conservation measures in 2019. The machines have already been installed in a few railway stations across India.
The railway stations in Mumbai were hit by a drinking water shortage as the railways did not renew the contract and the commuters have been relying on bottled water. The drinking water facilities were closed during the COVID days.