Passengers of APSRTC buses can now look forward to consuming clean and safe drinking water as the corporation is planning to install Reverse Osmosis (RO) water vending machines that offer drinking water at affordable price in all bus stations across the State.

Efforts are on to provide safe drinking water from RO water vending machines at just Re.1 per litre for the commuters shortly. Presently, the corporation is providing water filters at all the bus stations, some of which were donated by voluntary organisations and banks. However, on safety grounds, many prefer purchasing bottled water from private outlets shelling Rs. 5 to 15 per litre, said APSRTC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director B. Prasada Rao.

Initially, the corporation is planning to set up RO plants at all its 210 bus depots and also at the Tarnaka RTC Hospital to provide safe drinking water to over one lakh employees.

Depending on the staff strength at bus depots, two types of RO plants would be installed. While 500 litres per hour (LPH) capacity plants would be installed at bus depots with staff strength of up to 600, those with over 600 employees would be provided with 750 LPH plants.

The corporation looks at installing 143 RO plants with 500 LPH capacity and 68 plants with 750 LPH capacity at different bus depots and the one at Tarnaka Hospital. The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 421.30 lakh. Already tenders have been invited from organisations that are involved in manufacturing, installation and maintenance of these RO plants.

Once the tenders are finalised, the entire installation process would be completed in three months, said Mr. Rao.

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