WEST BENGAL PACKAGED DRINKING WATER MANUFACTURERS WELFARE ASSOCIATION (WBPDWMWA) HAS RAISED AN ALARMING SITUATION DUE TO UNREGULATED AND SPURIOUS MANUFACTURING OF PACKAGED DRINKING WATER IN THE STATE. THE MALICE, WHICH CONTINUES TO GROW AT A WORRYING RATE, POSES A STATE-WIDE HEALTH SCARE SCENARIO ARISING OUT OF WATER-BORNE DISEASES. THE ASSOCIATION CALLED FOR IMMEDIATE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION TO REGULATE THE UNSCRUPULOUS MANUFACTURERS BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.
News Stardom : Kolkata, 21st August 2023, The West Bengal Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Welfare Association (WBPDWMWA), the apex body of packaged drinking water in West Bengal, has raised a serious concern over rampant misuse of water for unauthorized manufacturing and sale of unhygienic packaged drinking water and its adverse health impact on the people. The Association made an urgent appeal to the West Bengal Government to take immediate action and regulate the situation before it went out of control.
The Association, which has the slogan `Jal Hi Jeevan Hai’ (Water is Life) as its motto, addressed a press conference in city to sensitise the citizens of the state and also bring to the notice of the Government the enormity of the malice plaguing our society which continues to grow at a worrying rate. Senior officials of WBPDWMWA – Mr Sanjib Nag (President), Mr Jitendra Surana (Chairman), Mr Navin Jairamka (Secretary), Mr Sukamal Pal (Ex-President), Mr Sudip Ghosh (Vice-President), Dr Harinder Singh (Law & Media Coordinator) and advocate of the Association – addressed the media.
“While there are only 350-400 licensed packaged water manufacturers in West Bengal, thousands of illegal units have mushroomed across localities which is nothing less than a state-wide health scare considering the adverse impact it has on the users,” said Mr Sudip Ghosh
The unregulated producers compromise the integrity of water supply, putting countless lives at risk. Unsafe water has the potential to give rise to water-borne ailments like cholera and typhoid. These unregulated units, lacking legal compliances and standards, are also a major drag on precious water resources and environment.
“One of our primary objectives is to raise awareness among the public and sensitise the citizens to become a discerning consumer in order to avoid water-borne diseases. It is also our objective to engage with various stakeholders, NGOs, Government and forge effective solutions to address these critical concerns,” said Mr Harinder Singh
WBPDWMWA highlighted the fact that the manufacturing and sale of 20 litre jars, which are being sold in the localities without any labels or added minerals and purification, create risk factors both in terms of health and trust of the common people. These spurious 20 litre jars have swamped nearly 90% of the packaged drinking water market in Bengal. The public is unaware of this alarming fact and consume the water to their own detriment.
“To prevent this, it is crucial that every batch of water undergoes thorough sample testing before being dispatched. Additionally, proper labelling is of paramount importance. The water containers should prominently exhibit the ISI, BIS, and FSSAI license details, which serve as indicators of quality and safety,” said Mr. Navin Jairamka
The Association has made an urgent appeal for the establishment of a task force under the supervision of the Principal Secretary, Government of West Bengal, that would operate under the direct sub-supervision of the District Magistrate of each respective district. The primary objective is the creation of a dedicated task force within each district, comprising members from Enforcement of Police, Department of Food & Safety, Department of BIS, Local Police Station, West Bengal Pollution Control Board and Other licensee department.
The formation of this task force will be instrumental in curbing the unlawful unregulated water trade practices that are currently afflicting the state. In an important legal development, the West Bengal High Court, in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the NGO Nigarani Sansthan, and presided over by the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, has issued a landmark judgement. The case, numbered WPA(P)/228/2021, underscores the critical need for immediate action to address the alarming issues of water misappropriation and the sale of unhygienic water products.
The judgment emphasizes the urgency of addressing unauthorized water extraction and the sale of substandard water products, as raised by Nigarani Sansthan. It serves as a pivotal call to action for the state and relevant authorities to take immediate measures to regulate and control these activities.
The West Bengal Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Welfare Association believes this press conference will serve as a pivotal platform to raise awareness, engage with stakeholders, and forge effective solutions to address these critical concerns.
About West Bengal Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Welfare Association (WBPDWMWA): WBPDWMWA is the apex body for manufacturing of packaged drinking water.