Mumbai Local

Beware, that bottle of water may be fake

The Indian Bottled Water Manufacturers Association alleged that companies operating at the Mumbai suburbs were selling bottled water without proper licence or ISI or FSSAI marks.— File Photo  

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has initiated an inquiry into the alleged production and sale of spurious packaged drinking water by companies that have their plants on the outskirts of Mumbai. The inquiry was started after the Indian Bottled Water Manufacturers Association filed a complaint with the agency earlier this month about companies flouting norms.

Members of the association said the companies were operating in areas such as Panvel, Vasai, Virar and Bhayander, and selling bottled water without proper licence or ISI or FSSAI marks. Water was being sold either in 200-ml plastic containers or, in some cases, large jars that keep water chilled, in an attempt to lure more customers, they alleged.

Packaged drinking water is in demand at functions such as weddings, seminars, etc. While some functions have ‘single-serving’ plastic containers, other functions prefer large containers with capacity of several litres. The bigger containers are also used in offices to dispense drinking water for employees.

“These manufacturers do not have any proper manufacturing machines and testing facilities. Customers are unaware that the water they are consuming is actually just tap or borewell water, which can resulted in health issues. Also, since summer season is coming soon and there is a huge shortage of drinking water in many areas in and around Mumbai and Maharashtra, we fear that if strict action is not taken immediately there could be many such illegal plants shooting up in the next few months that could be a threat for consumers and a risk to human life,” said Apurva Doshi, general secretary of the association.

Invalid licences

The complaint also states that the manufacturers of such products are operating on invalid licences, which consumers are unaware about. A list of such companies and photographs of some of their products have also been submitted to the FDA.

Joint Commissioner Harish Baijal, FDA, confirmed that a complaint had been filed by the association.

“We are making inquiries into the complaint and verifying whether the said norms are being violated. I will only be able to comment further on the matter after our inquiries are complete,” Mr Baijal said.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 4:29:18 AM |

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