An innovative mobile dispensing machine was developed named ‘Pilo’, which delivered 1 liter of water for Rs 5 or 250 ml of water for Rs 2. It was installed nearly a month ago outside the Botanic Garden Metro Station, making a splash. Launched by 4 members of IITians which included Jatin Ahlawat, Parveen Singh, Ajay Yadav, and Mohamad Yunus Ansari who are engineers, automation experts, water technology experts and social workers.
When they saw the plight of most Delhiites they decided that they would build drinking water ATMs – water vending machines that is purified using Reverse Osmosis Technology at a cost that everyone can afford.
The project has the backing of Noida Authority, which has also given an in-principal approval for its expansion already. According to Noida Authority officials, there are plans to install more such machine ATMs early next year.
“We expect to scale up the project in the coming months in terms of number of machines and locations. Through this technology, the public can now get clean drinking water by swiping their smart cards in the machines.”
As a member of the team, Vivek Malik explains, “RO purified water is the safest and purest form of drinking water. But the major roadblock is the wastage. The usual rate of wastage in RO filters is as high as 40-50%. We decided on Zero Liquid Discharge technology, where 95% of the input water is made available for consumption. This helped us reduce the wastage cost.”
Since a large section of the population still does not have access to clean drinking water, and the aim of the project is to provide it at a reasonable cost while being environment-friendly. Ajay Yadav also added, “The machines are solar powered, the paper cups and residual water after Reverse Osmosis are recyclable. The plan is to make the dispenser self-sustaining. The revenue earned will be used to meet the running expenses of the RO plant, salary of the operator, electricity and maintenance.”
Pi-lo has a real time water quality display, something that no one in the country has, it displays the purity of the water, the TDS count, temperature and ph level of water and display these for the users in real time. According to Vikas, if the purity of the water falls below the standards, the machine shuts down and will not dispense water. And the fact that the company in obsessed with quality.
The Noida and Delhi Authority has installed the vending machines are located at 80 locations, including 28 metro stations in Delhi-NCR. These coin-based self-service kiosks dispense close to 10,000 liters of pure water every day.