Image for Representation.
KATHMANDU: ‘Pani Pandhero’ (Water ATM) has become popular and its use increased lately in the Kathmandu Valley.
One can get 200 ml drinking water in a paper cup by inserting a two-rupee coin in the machine. It requires Rs 10 to fill a one liter bottle.
The project was launched by the Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Management Board (KVWSMB) in cooperation with the respective metropolis with the aim of providing people an easy access to safe drinking water. There are a total of 20 Water ATMs in the Valley (12 in Kathmandu, seven in Lalitpur and one in Bhaktapur).
In Kathmandu, the water booths have been installed at Teku, Kalanki, Swayambhu, Baisdhara, Shankha Park, Shankhadhar Park, New Baneshwor, CIT Building, and at Shahid Gangalal, Teaching Hospital, Bir Hospital and Civil Service Hospital.
Likewise, Lalitpur has them installed at the Nepal Engineers Association, Bangalamukhi Temple, Kusunti, Patan Hospital, Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Pulchok Engineering Campus and Mental Hospital. In Bhaktapur, it has been installed at Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital.
Posters giving instructions for use have been pasted on the machine. The users and others have lauded the initiative as a good move to provide the people easy access to safe drinking water.
A microbus driver Laj Shrestha, who frequented the water booth at Shankhadhar Park (Ratnapark) for water, praised the initiative.
“I used to pay Rs 20 or Rs 25 to buy a bottle of water to drink. Nowadays, it has become easier and cheaper to get water from the machine,” he said. Bhawani Karki, who has frequented the machine at Shankapark for water, also lauded the move, but has a take.
Some problems like the machine failing to toss paper cups and coins being stuck should be addressed, she suggested.
In the first phase, the KVWSMB, in coordination with the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, installed the machines at five places in Kathmandu, said KVWSMB’s information officer Santosh Baral, adding that they have been installed in the populated areas.