Welcome to the first episode of Talking Under Water: One water, one podcast. In this episode, your hosts...
The India rail company is facing challenges for drinking water and restroom fees, as well as water ATMs
An affidavit has been filed before a Delhi, India, High Court Bench challenging a Delhi Metro Rail Corp. (DMRC) policy that charges commuters for drinking water and restroom use at train stations. The affidavit challenges a single judge who previously ruled that a person has a right to drink water at stations, but not necessarily for free, as reported by The Hindu.
DMRC operates water ATMs at their train stations where commuters can pay a fee for a glass of drinking water. DMRC said that if a commuter is unable to afford these commodities, including the use of restrooms, they may approach a station employee and will be granted drinking water or restroom use. These fees are designed to ‘prevent the misuse of these facilities,’ according to the rail company.
These restrictions may seem unusual in countries where water is abundant, but India is facing a growing water crisis, and both the government and businesses have been working to reduce water consumption. Recently, the Indian government began a huge push for rainwater harvesting and groundwater protection, including the mandatory construction of rainwater harvesting structures on all new commercial properties and the opening of several rainwater theme parks.