Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

Rail Neer – Safest Drinking Water at Cheapest Price

*H. C. Kunwar

In addition to its passenger-services oriented business like setting up of Food Plazas on Railway premises, Rail Tour Packages and internet ticketing, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC), is providing clean, safe and hygienic water to railway passengers. IRCTC, a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Railways, is manufacturing Rail Neer brand of Packaged Drinking Water at these locations i.e. Nangloi (Delhi), Danapur (Bihar) and Palur (near Chennai) with cumulative production capacity of 3.80 lakh bottles  (1 litre capacity) per day. The aim of IRCTC is to supply safest drinking water at cheapest price with the usage of minimum resources so as to conserve environment.

The first ever Rail Neer plant at Nangloi in Delhi was inaugurated on May 6, 2003 to provide safe packaged drinking water to Indian Railway passengers with capacity to produce 66,000 bottles per day which has been enhanced to 1,02,000 bottles per day in April 2009.  This plant is based on state-of-the-art technology for water purification and packaging. This is a completely automatic plant and there is no manual handling of product water at any stage. Till now plant has produced 20,14,39,896 bottles.

The Rail Neer is manufactured as per BIS standard. Rather Rail Neer standard are better than what is prescribed in BIS standard. 24X7 model in-house laboratory is there at Plant to conform to BIS standard and water samples from each batch are preserved for six months to check the shelf life. As far as outside lab testing is concerned, monthly, half yearly, and yearly and two yearly samples are sent to highly repute approved laboratories for pesticides, chemical, micro-biological and Radio Active testing.  No sample of Rail Neer has ever failed in outside lab testing.

The one litre bottle of Rail Neer is sold at Rs. 12/- (per bottle of one litre) on all Railway stations and trains.. By selling Rail Neer brand, IRCTC has provided high quality pure drinking water at fair price to Railway passengers and public visiting the stations. The competitor brands are thus forced to keep up the quality and keep prices under check. Rail Neer is supplied to all Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains originating from Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai,Bangalore and all Duronto trains originating from Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai and Bangalore.  Further Rail Neer is supplied to important Mail/Express trains originating from the above stations. A total of 180 Railway stations are declared mandatory for sale of Rail Neer.

IRCTC is operating three Neer plants. One plant is at Danapur (Bihar) having same capacity as Nangloi i.e. 1.02 lakh bottles per day. The plant is working since 2004.  Latest plant is at Palur (Chennai), which was commissioned in July 2011. This plant has capacity of 1.8 lakh bottles per day and is equipped with latest models of Bottle Blowing machines.   For the first time, automatic hot flue labeling machine and shrink packing of bottles has been introduced by IRCTC. These two machines give higher productivity and better quality.

The construction of a fourth plant at of IRCTC Ambernath (Mumbai) will be taken up at full swing. The plant layout is similar to one at Palur and similar machinery and equipment will be provided. The plant will have installed capacity of two lakh bottles per day or 17000 cartons per day and is likely to be commissioned in 2013-14. This plant will meet the requirement of the Western part of the country.

IRCTC will continue expansion since average Rail traveler prefers Rail Neer over the other local brands.  Demand for Rail Neer at railway has increased steadily and there is a huge gap between the existing production capacity of the plants and the demand. To bridge the gaps there is a need for setting up of more plants across the country so as to strength the supply chain and logistic of Rail Neer supply at railway stations and trains in all Railway Zones.

CTC is also looking to set up two new plants at Hyderabad and Nagpur by forming a Joint Venture company under PPP mode. To meet the requirement in Delhi area, one more plant is planned to be set up in Delhi NCR area. In this plant different pack sizes like 250/500 ml bottles and 20 litre jars may be taken up. (PIB Feature).



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