Hyderabad: The rising demand for purified water has led to the mushrooming of nearly 6,000 unauthorised manufacturing plants. These plants do business worth Rs 100 crore every month. According to records with the Bureau of Indian Standards, only 106 purified water plants across the state have licences, 47 in the city.
With many colonies suffering from poor supply, and middle-class families preferring to purchase purified water instead of the drinking water supplied by the Water Board, demand for bottled one is high. The board supplies to nearly 1,500 colonies located on the city’s outskirts in three or four days, forcing residents to purchase the 20-litre cans paying Rs 20 to Rs 35 a piece.
Water sold by illegal manufacturers
As per an official estimate, nearly 30 lakh bubble cans are sold every month in the city, of which only five lakh are supplied by branded companies and another five lakh by purification plants that meet ISI standards. The remaining cans are produced by illegal manufacturers. It is estimated that another 50 lakh 20-litre cans are sold at bus stands, railway stations, canteens and hotels under GHMC limits. Only about half the bottles that are sold in the city are from branded companies.
Purifying plants should be licensed by BIS
Sections 79 and 80 of the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2006 state that all plants purifying water should be licensed by the BIS. It takes Rs 25 lakh to set up a purification plant as per norms, including obtaining licence from the BIS, sophisticated equipment, microbiological lab to test samples and recruiting a chemist. It takes only about Rs 3 lakh to set up an unauthorised plant. BIS director M.V.S.D. Prasada Rao said the bureau had the authority to conduct raids and checks at the plants which have obtained licence to ensure that standards are maintained.
As per the law and regulations, officials responsible for food safety, GHMC and revenue department officers and the Indian Institute of Preventive Medicine have to crack the whip on illegal water plants. If we identify illegal plants during our raids, we pass on the information to departments.
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Source: Deccan chronicle