Society

Drinking water units under scanner

Chennai and its suburbs consume about 1.15 crore litres of water every day. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Chennai and its suburbs consume about 1.15 crore litres of water every day. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan   | Photo Credit: S_R_Raghunathan

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BIS conducts more raids to regulate packaged water industry

With the demand for packaged drinking water and the number of bubbletop manufacturing units increasing manifold, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), southern regional office, has stepped up checks on the use of spurious ISI marks.

From April, the BIS has conducted 12 raids in various districts and seized water containers bearing fake ISI marks. A majority of the raids were in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts.

Chennai and its suburbs consume about 1.15 crore litres of water every day.

Officials of BIS said the number of manufacturing units have gone up over the past few years. Chennai and neighbouring districts have nearly 350 packaged drinking water units — about one-third of the total number of units across the State.

Last year, BIS officials had conducted 11 raids. “We conduct such operations after investigations or based on specific information. We have found most units either misusing the ISI mark without proper licence or imitating the ISI mark,” said an official.

Officials said they had increased the number of raids to regulate the packaged drinking water industry.

“We plan to conduct a minimum of 32 raids this year to ensure quality packaged water is supplied. Consumers must check for validity, batch number and date of filling on the containers. The validity period for packaged water in bubbletops and pouches is up to six months,” said an official.

The BIS recently provided certification marks licence for plastic bottles/containers used for packaged drinking water.

“We cancelled three licences in the past year as manufacturers did not adhere to standards. Consumers can complain to us (044-22541220) about such misuse,” said the official.

Welcoming the checks, K. Tamilmani, vice-president, Greater Chennai Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Association, said, “The BIS must also initiate action against those who illegally sell water in bubbletops belonging to licensed manufacturers. They source empty branded bubbletops from dealers in Chennai.”

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:30:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-society/drinking-water-units-under-scanner/article6226153.ece

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