In an attempt to prevent spread of water-borne diseases in summer, the Delhi High Court has directed the government to tighten the noose around illegal units manufacturing and selling bottled drinking water.
Justice S. Muralidhar directed the government agencies to crack down on units manufacturing and selling drinking water without a licence and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Bottled Water Processors Association. The association moved the court, saying there are a large number of units in Delhi not complying with norms.
It was alleged that despite the central government’s attention being drawn to illegal manufacturers, no action was taken to stop such activities.
The court also sought the constitution of a task force for action against units without a licence and BIS certification.
“The force will comprise the secretary of the ministry of health and family welfare, senior representatives of the department of prevention of food adulteration and the BIS, and a senior Delhi Police officer,” the court said in an order passed last week.
“The task force will coordinate amongst various departments and constitute special crack units which will undertake surprise checks at various locations of manufacture of packaged drinking water and initiate strict action in terms of the provisions contained under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, as well as the BIS Act and rules made under those statutes,” the court said.
“Considering that the water-borne diseases are on the increase during the summer months, time is of the essence for all of the directions,” the court said.
“It is mandatory for packaged drinking water to be manufactured, sold or exhibited for sale only with a BIS certification mark. Packaged drinking water has to confirm to the stipulated Indian standards specification,” the court said.