Food Safety and Drug Administration Department officials sealed a mineral water unit in Madurai district on Saturday for the third time in the past two weeks for functioning without an ISI certification.

Authorities cracked the whip on Al-Cherry Aqua, located at Sathiyapuram near Melur, for the third time following complaints that it continued to function by breaking open the sealed unit unlawfully. According to J. Suguna, Designated Officer for Food Safety and Drug Administration, Al-Cherry Aqua was one among the 24 “herbal water” manufacturing units in Madurai. “Herbal water units did not require ISI certification previously. Around a year ago, the Green Tribunal ordered closure of all mineral water units, including herbal water units, if they did not obtain ISI certification,” Dr. Suguna said.

Following the order, a few herbal water units in the city obtained ISI certification and continued manufacturing mineral water; some supplied water in tankers and the rest closed operation, she added.

However, Al-Cherry Aqua continued its business as a mineral water manufacturing unit without ISI certification. Every time the authorities sealed the unit, the proprietors reportedly broke open the seal and functioned after midnight on the sly. “We received a complaint after we sealed the unit last week for the second time that it has started functioning again. Thereafter, we planned a surprise inspection,” she said.

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