A railway station in a hilly, tribal-dominated area of Odisha is plucking water from the air to tackle its drinking water woes, first experiment in the rail network. It lies at a distance of 460 km from Odisha’s capital, Bhubaneswar. The steep terrain proved it almost impossible to drill, and a regular source of drinking water could not be established. In order to solve this predicament, the Railways looked towards the air, literally! So by innovative technology under Make in India concept East Cost Railway installed an ‘Atmospheric Water Generator’ kiosk.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, JP Mishra, the Chief Public Relations Officer of the East Coast Railways, said that the station using atmospheric moisture extraction technology, and pass it over a condenser, turning the vapour into water, due to the heat exchange. The machine used for this process works at a low humidity level of 50%, has an ambient temperature of 32-35 degrees Celsius, and is harvesting 120 litres of water a day. “Now there is enough drinking water at the station,” Mishra said. Before the machine was installed, Rauli Station had to depend on stream water which, the official said, was not fit for drinking.
The machine was installed at the Rauli station in Odisha’s Rayagada district on the Koraput-Rayagada single line and the suggestion for getting water from the air was suggested by the ECoR General Manager, Mr Umesh Singh . Three trains – the Hirakhand Express, Koraput-Sambalpur passenger and Visakhapatnam-Koraput passenger — stop there daily. Mr JP Mishra is optimistic about this sustainable method of collecting water and hopes to replicate this in other stations. The machine cost around Rs 2 lakh and is the first such project in the railways. The station is located near Rauli village. The nearest town of Rayagada is 63 km away.