//Illegal packaged water now in `herbal' form

Illegal packaged water now in `herbal' form


BUYERS BEWARE: The quality of packaged drinking water is difficult to monitor.

CHENNAI: Illegal packaged water now comes in `herbal’ form.

Water is on the list of 109-odd products for which ISI certification is a must. Tamil Nadu has about 400 licensed manufacturers of packaged water. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) recently unearthed several cases of water being sold in containers using fake ISI labels in the city.

Their manufacturing licences were cancelled or allowed to expire. But some of them re-enter the market in `herbal’ form,’ say BIS officials.

"Once the product is labelled as herbal water, it goes outside the purview of the BIS," explains J.T.Davidson, director, BIS, southern regional office.

In two raids held in Chennai in March, BIS teams seized more than 400 20-litre water containers bearing fake ISI mark. One of the units sold packaged drinking water in the names of more than 20 different manufacturers and brands.

The bureau asked the manufacturers to lodge a police complaint. But none volunteered to do so. M. Vijayakumar, deputy commissioner, Department of Civil Supplies, said unauthorised manufacturers of `herbal water’ could be prosecuted on various counts.