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Amritsar

Posted at: Jan 13, 2018, 1:06 AM; last updated: Jan 13, 2018, 1:06 AM (IST)

Detection of illegal water bottling plants raises quality concern

2 units’ samples collected last year had failed quality test

Manmeet Singh Gill

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 12

The sealing of two water bottling plants in the city recently raises a question mark on the quality of water pouches. The plants were being run sans approval from the Health Department.

People generally prefer packed water at restaurants and public places, thinking it to be hygienic.

In the last six months, health officials have sealed four such illegal water packing units being run from residential areas. The units sealed recently were being run in Jandiala, near here.

District Health Officer Dr Lakhbir Singh Baghowalia said the lab test reports of the samples collected earlier from two such plants selling packed water under the brand names of G-Aqua and Silver Healthy Dip were categorically labeled as unsafe for human consumption. The two units located in Chehharta were sealed in August last year.

After the arrival of quality reports, the department is planning to file a court case against the two units. Apart from selling packed water, a few entrepreneurs supply water coolers to shopkeepers and other commercial establishments. The consumer often presumes it to be of better quality than the tap water and pays to such private firms.

While the department can take action against water bottling units, it is not competent to act against firms selling water coolers. Water coolers fall doesn’t fall under the category of packaged water as defined in rules. In August last year, the department had collected samples from two firms selling water coolers but these were returned by the testing facility as the same does not comes under its jurisdiction.

Dr Baghowalia said that the Municipal Corporation (MC) could check the quality of water supplied in coolers and take action. He said the Health Department would soon file court cases against the firms whose water samples had failed lab tests.

“Before buying packaged water, people must check the registration and license number of the manufacturer to ensure that they are buying a quality product. The quality of packed water supplied by illegal units may be substandard,” he added.

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