The food safety commissioner of Tamil Nadu has warned the bottled drinking water companies in the state to provide safe drinking water to consumers. He said that of the 1640 packaged drinking water companies in the state, the products of only a third are suitable for safe drinking. The authorities said that nearly a quarter of the water is of poor quality.
According to sources in the department of the food and safety commissioner, several complaints have been received against the packaged drinking water companies. Following the complaints, 1640 samples from various companies were collected and sent for testing.
The report showed that 694 samples tested were of high quality, 527 were unsafe for drinking while 419 were of poor quality.
The department of food safety has filed 173 cases in court and a fine of Rs 39.69 lakh has been imposed on these companies and their sales points.
The food safety commissioner directed the companies to get a proper license from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and mandatorily follow all the guidelines under the Food Safety Act.
The department also directed the companies to wash the 20-litre water bottles every time before they are filled with water and stated that the name of the manufacturer and the quality should be displayed on the bottles.
A senior official told IANS, “It was shocking to note that around one third of the packaged drinking water that is in use in the state is either of poor quality or unsafe. We will take stringent action against the companies that failed to maintain the minimum standards set by the BIS. There will be periodical inspections and random checks on these packaged drinking water companies.”