In Bengaluru, pay in coins to access clean, safe drinking water
It is 4 pm. A man comes in a bike, parks it near the HOPCOMS shop near Mariyappanapalya Park in Rajajinagar, Bengaluru. He walks towards the water vending machine nearby with a 20 litre water can in hand, pays, fills it and leaves the spot. Just as he is leaving, we ask him what he does with the water. He says he uses it in his panipuri business. He is a street vendor whose business depends on this safe water dispensed by the vending machine, popularly known as water ATM.
This water ATM was started in 2015 as a BBMP initiative. The machine sells about 2000 litres of water per day, and dispenses 20 litres at a time when a golden five-rupee coin is used. The corporator and the Member of Legislative Assembly are in charge of the water ATMs in Rajajinagar.
Photo courtesy of Ron Kroetz.