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New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), one of the three civic bodies of Delhi, plans to set up water ATMs on public-private partnership (PPP) basis. The initiative is part of the Smart City project and aimed at making safe drinking water available at 118 public places under its jurisdiction. 

The request for proposal (RFP) released by NDMC on Wednesday said the project entails "designing, financing, constructing / installing, operating and maintaining of water ATMs and vending of water from water ATMs at public places" for seven years.

Some of the prominent areas where the water ATMs are proposed to be installed are Khan Market, Janpath, Connaught Place, Safdarjung Road, Jantar Mantar, Talkatora Garden and Lodhi Garden.

Delhi was one of the 20 cities selected in the first phase of the Smart City project in January this year. 

Water will be sourced by the ATM vendors from NDMC on commercial rates. The document said the civic body reserves the right to penalise vendors if the ATMs are non-operational, ranging from Rs. 2,000 per day per ATM to Rs. 5,000 per day per ATM.

The rate at which water will be made available to consumers will be fixed after the bids are finalised. The terms of the tender have a provision for annually increasing the charges by 7 percent. 

Highlights (according to the tender document)

  • Each ATM should be equipped to dispense 250 ml water (eco-friendly biodegradable cups/glass of minimum 170 GSM paper to be provided by the concessionaire at the ATM in the cost of water).
  • 1 litre, 5 litre and 20 litre water will be taken by customers in their own containers. Filling Speed: about 10-12 litre/minute.
  • Operating time: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, which may be amended in consultation with NDMC. 
  •  No commercial advertisements will be allowed at any water ATM unit.
  •  Users may carry up to 20 litre of water in jerry cans. The concessionaire may have suitable vending place in ATM for filling such a container.