Now, check qual­ity of pack­aged water on­line

FSSAI up­loads de­tails of reg­is­tered sup­pli­ers with qual­ity pa­ram­e­ters, lab re­ports

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - K. Lak­shmi

Con­sumers can now check the qual­ity of the pack­aged drink­ing water sup­plied to them in a mat­ter of min­utes.

The web­site, hosted by the Food Safety and Stan­dards Author­ity of In­dia (FSSAI), pro­vides de­tails on most of the li­censed man­u­fac­tur­ing units across the State. There are 1,375 pack­aged drink­ing water units across Tamil Nadu. Of th­ese, nearly 1,032 units have so far reg­is­tered their de­tails on­wa­

With just an FSSAI li­cence num­ber or BIS li­cence num­ber found on bub­ble tops, con­sumers can now check com­plete in­for­ma­tion about the water qual­ity. De­tails, in­clud­ing lab re­ports, about when the unit was started and var­i­ous pa­ram­e­ters tested for water qual­ity, have been up­loaded on­line.

Vol­un­tary regis­tra­tion

Of­fi­cials of the FSSAI said that at present the regis­tra­tion of pack­aged drink­ing water units was vol­un­tary and that they needed to have li­cences both from FSSAI and the Bureau of In­dian Stan­dards to op­er­ate their units. “We are ap­proach­ing the re­main­ing units in the State through field of­fi­cers. Re­sults of the sam­ples taken by FSSAI teams are avail­able on­line,” said an of­fi­cial.

In Chennai, 22 of the 24 op­er­at­ing units, have reg­is­tered. “We are cre­at­ing aware­ness among peo­ple about the fa­cil­i­ties avail­able to check water qual­ity and reg­is­ter com­plaints about the poor qual­ity of pack­aged drink­ing water,” the of­fi­cial said.

On an av­er­age, nearly 40 crore litres of pack­aged water is sold daily in the State and Chennai and its suburbs con­sume one-third of the sup­ply.

FSSAI had launched a com­plaint num­ber — 9444042322 — a year ago, to fa­cil­i­tate regis­tra­tion of com­plaints by the con­sumers. Of the 4,368 com­plaints re­ceived in the past one year till Au­gust, 133 were re­lated to pack­aged drink­ing water.

In a bid to in­crease aware­ness about ac­cess to safe drink­ing water and the sig­nif­i­cance of reg­is­ter­ing com­plaints, the FSSAI has been putting up stick­ers in com­mer­cial places and food joints, dis­play­ing the helpline num­ber.

There are plans to put up about 6,000 posters in pub­lic places to seek con­sumers’ at­ten­tion to­wards the is­sue. FSSAI teams would take ac­tion on the com­plaint and re­solve them within 24 to 48 hours, of­fi­cials said. If the com­plaint re­curs, FSSAI has the power to close down the unit, they added.

Though it was a wel­come ini­tia­tive to reg­u­late the li­censed in­dus­try, V. Mu­rali, founder, Greater Tamil Nadu Pack­aged Drink­ing Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, said the FSSAI must fo­cus on shut­ting down un­li­censed man­u­fac­tur­ing units that sup­ply a size­able vol­ume of water. Aware­ness must be cre­ated among con­sumers about such units that do not con­form to norms, he added.

Nearly 40 crore litres of pack­aged water is sold daily in the State, and Chennai and its suburbs con­sume one-third of it.

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