Illegal Bottled Water in Delhi Risking Lives

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More than 10,000 Illegal Packaged Water Bottling Units are Operating in the Capital of India, Using the Labels of the 64 Licensed Manufacturers

"It may sound horrific but only 64 water bottling plants have the licence to supply packed drinking water in the national capital and the NCR," said Pankaj Aggarwal, the president of the Bottled Water Processors Association. 

"It's a big reason for worry. Despite not getting clearances from the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS), supplies from such unlicensed plants is equal to the quantity of bottles supplied by the licensed plants," Aggarwal told IANS. 

"Such illegal units are mostly located in slums and congested bylanes of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. They hardly meet the standards of water purification, but escape getting checked by government officials due to their location." 

In a recent case, cockroaches were found in water drums supplied to the headquarters of the East Delhi Municipal Corp. After a probe, the supplier was found to be an illegal operator. But the unit could not be traced as there no record with the association. 

In another, a house fly was found in water supplied to a media organisation in Noida. 

"If the condition of Delhi is like this, then what will be the situation in the other parts of the country. But I do not have any official data on it," Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said. 

"It is the duty of the Delhi government to submit data of such unlicensed operators to the central government. Only when we receive such a report can we frame more stringent policies to stop such malpractices," Vardhan told IANS. 

North Delhi Municipal Corp Mayor Yogender Chandolia gave IANS some alarming data. "I believe the number of unlicensed bottling units in Delhi is more over 10,000. There's a shortage of drinking water in many parts. Operating illegal units is an easy business," he said. 

"We did a survey this year and over 2,000 people were caught running unlicensed water bottling plants in parts of North Delhi alone. But no action was taken against them. This has again given them the freedom to keep running their illegal business." 

In fact, the Delhi High Court asked the government agencies in May 2010 to crack down on bottling units selling water without a licence and a proper certification from the BIS. But that hasn't helped, bona fide bottlers lament. 

Source: Times of India

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Comments

Bokang Makututsa
This is a sad situation that requires effectve monitoring of water bottling licenses. This number is huge and needs urgent attention.
Yoshimi Yoshida
Horrific as it sounds, but actually, not so surprising. Anything could happen in India, China or else where.
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