The transport department is now planning to increase the production of Amma mineral water as it seems to have become a big hit among commuters as well as the general public in the city.
Officials of the department claim most of the counters retailing the water bottles in bus termini are sold out by the afternoon. “It is not just passengers, but passersby too who buy them. We re-fill our stock, but by evening they are sold out again,” said a department staffer who manages the counter at the Mylapore bus stop.
Transport department officials have said it would be difficult to manage the projected demand unless production is increased. “Since it has been raining, we are able to manage the demand. But the sales will be higher during summer. We are planning on increasing production,” said an official.
Commuters have welcomed the mineral water as an economical option. “The water seems pure and of a superior quality. I get concerned about the quality when I buy packaged drinking water from private dealers especially because sometimes the caps are not sealed properly,” said S. Bhooshanam, a resident who was waiting at the Koyambedu bus terminus on Tuesday afternoon.
Sangeetha Rajesh, a commuter returning from Gingee, said it was a relief to have the water available for purchase on the bus. “Earlier, we either had to carry water bottles or get down at some bus terminus to buy bottles or rely on water packets sold by vendors at traffic junctions,” she said.
The mineral water project was launched by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on September 15. The plant has come up on a 2.47-acre facility and can process three lakh litres of water every day.
A total of 304 counters have been opened across the State for selling the mineral water, and 39 of these are in Chennai city. “There are 12 counters in the Koyambedu bus terminus. Some are run by State Express Transport Corporation and others are maintained by other State transport corporations,” said a source from the transport department.