The National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, on Tuesday took suo motu cognisance of a news item that appeared in The Hindu revealing violation of basic safety parameters in packaged drinking water units. It ordered notices to the authorities, including City Corporation Commissioner, the TNPCB and Secretary, Environment and Forests to file their response.

The Hindu report “Raids expose packaged drinking water quality” said a joint surprise check conducted by the CBI and Bureau of Indian Standards revealed shocking violations of basic parameters in packaged drinking water units in and around Chennai. Taking up the matter in the public interest, the Tribunal, comprising its judicial member Justice M.Chockalingam and expert member R.Nagendran, directed the officials “to appear in person or through legal practitioners in this matter on March 14.” They were also directed to file affidavit as to facts and circumstances reported in the news item.

Earlier, Justice Swantanter Kumar, chairperson of National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, commended the active role played by the media in creating awareness of environmental issues. Referring to The Hindu report, Mr. Justice Kumar said: “It is atrocious that certain packaged drinking water units do not follow basic parameters.”

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