DEHRADUN: Weeks after Union government launched the scheme of providing bottled Ganga water to citizens through post offices, the holy water has been flying off shelves. Since July 10 when Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Manoj Sinha had launched the scheme in New Delhi, over 10,000 Gangajal bottles have been dispatched by the Dehradun postal department to other states – with Jharkhand leading the tally followed by Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. Recently, Rajasthan had seen demand for over 10,000 litres of Gangajal in a single day.”It is a pilot project. Based on its outcome, the government might launch it on a larger scale. People are placing demand for the Gangajal through railway mail service and also e-post office service. So far, we have received more than 400 request online,” said VK Singh, director, postal department, Uttarakhand.
Till date, 20,000 litres of Gangajal has been dispatched from Rishikesh while 1,800 litres of holy water has been dispatched from Gangotri. Several road blockages caused by torrential rain have resulted in less sourcing of water from Gangotri. Every day, around 1,500 litres of Gangajal from Muni-ki-Reti post office in Rishikesh is sent to Delhi where it is packaged and later dispatched to post offices across the country.
Gangajal sourced from Rishikesh costs Rs 35 for a bottle of 500ml and Rs 25 for 200ml. The one sourced from Rishikesh comes cheaper at Rs 22 and Rs 15 for bottles of 500ml and 200ml respectively.
Pawan Kumar Singh, director of postal department in Delhi, said, “Of the two types of Gangajal, the one sourced from Gangotri is more in demand as compared to the one sourced from Rishikesh. However, it is costlier than the Rishikesh Gangajal. It is purely a matter of people’s faith.”
To ensure the purity of water, random inspections are also being conducted and water is being collected in the presence of senior officials at both the points. But due to scanty space and availability of water bottles of different sizes, water is being sent in 20 litre cans to Delhi.TOI sources at the post office also said the department might soon start sending the bottled Gangajal to overseas locations depending upon its demand.