| One of the water booths installed at Kharupetia. Telegraph picture |
Jan. 18: This summer you can beat the heat with a refreshing alternative to unhealthy soft drinks. What’s more, this remedy for scorching hot weather — a tall glass of chilled water — will be absolutely free and easy to get hold of.
Guwahati will soon have four drinking water booths — all in the heart of the city — thanks to an initiative of Rangali Group, a Kharupetia-based company known for its rice and edible oil brands.
“We plan to set up four drinking water booths — at Fancy Bazar, Ganeshguri, Chandmari and Adabari — by Rongali Bihu. Each booth, which will cost us around Rs 9 lakh to build, will have coolers to provide chilled water throughout the day,” Gautam Saha, founder and managing director of the group, told The Telegraph.
“Those who wish to quench their thirst at the stations will not be charged. However, Re 1 per litre will be charged as a token fee if water is filled and taken home or elsewhere. The fee will be needed to maintain the water station that will be manned by one person,” Saha added.
The booths have been christened Rangali Scots Spring drinking water stations. They will be open from 6am to 10pm and each of them will have a filtration machine, equipped with reverse osmosis technology, to ensure premium drinking water. The booths cover an area of 8x10 feet each.
Reverse osmosis is a membrane-technology filtration method that removes many types of large molecules and ions from solutions by applying pressure to the solution when it is on one side of a selective membrane. It is most commonly used in the purification of seawater into drinking water.
“The RO unit will have a capacity of 60 litres per hour. Besides, the booths will have a chiller (150 litres per hour), one 500 litre tank (outside), one 200 litre (processed water) storage tank and three pumps (motor capacity of 1/2 HP each),” Saha said.
In December, the company installed three water booths at Kharupetia in Darrang district.
“The move is part of our corporate social responsibility (programme). The objective is to make people aware of drinking adequate amount of safe water daily. We will spread messages on the health benefits of water through display boards at our stations. This is also our first step in our mission to establish safe drinking water booths in the major towns of the Northeast,” Saha said.
Currently, the company is in talks with the Guwahati Municipal Corporation for land allocation. “We are in talks with the corporation with regard to allocation of space for the booths. Once the process is over, the installation will take anything between 15 days and a month. So, we expect the water booths to come up by April,” he said.
“We will also launch our packaged drinking water brand — Rangali Scots Spring — in February. So, once the booths come up under the brand, consumers will be aware of the product and its quality,” he added.