Chennai: Packaged drinking water unit sealed

For selling water that does not conform to norms laid down by Bureau of Indian Standards

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation on Tuesday sealed a packaged drinking water manufacturing unit in Arumbakkam for selling water packed in an unhygienic surrounding.

Officials of the Corporation said the civic body had been receiving complaints about Karuna Enterprises at MMDA Colony, Arumbakkam, selling packaged drinking water that did conform to the norms laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

During the raid it was found that the unit was packaging water without treating it. The products were being sold under different labels such as ‘Pure H20’ and ‘Oasis 5.’ A 15-member team comprising sanitary inspectors, health inspectors and public health department officials conducted the raid.

The BIS authorities had recently cancelled the water quality licence issued to the unit. A notice to the unit was issued on Monday by the civic body. Following the raid, the civic body cancelled the trade licence it issued for the unit, the officials said.

“Last year, we seized nearly 3 lakh water packets and about 3,000 bubbletops that did not meet mandatory requirements such as printing of the date of manufacturing, address of the manufacturer, expiry date and the batch number,” a civic body official said.

A senior BIS official said a majority of packaged mineral water units were concentrated in and around the city. At present, there are around 460 manufacturing units in the State, of which 200 are in the city. About 70 new units are added every year. Raids are conducted on the basis of complaints received from the public. The licences of the units are cancelled when they do not comply with the 51 lab tests, they misuse the ISI mark and operate with some other unit holder’s licence, the official said.

V.Murali, founder and patron of Tamil Nadu Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Association, said that the members had submitted a list of 82 unauthorised units operating across the State to the Health Secretary last month. Of this, 31 such units are functioning in the peripheral areas of the city.

Packaged drinking water units without proper licence have doubled in a year. Most of them sell products under the label of flavoured or herbal water, he said.

From THE HINDU

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