KWSB seeks authority to annul mineral water plant licences

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KARACHI: Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has appealed to Sindh Chief Minister to authorise it for cancellation of licenses issued to many fake mineral water plants in the city. 


“KWSB at the very outset, in accordance to 1996 Act, must be accepted as the sole authority to supply water to the citizens of Karachi,” said KWSB Chief Misbahuddin Farid on Monday.


He said that by virtue of the mentioned act, KWSB must be acknowledged as the only agency that may issue licenses to mineral water plants and also annul if needed.


Our proposition is genuine as a large number of these mineral factories are bogus, causing serious risk to public health besides hefty revenue loss to KWSB and frequent episodes of water shortage in Karachi, he elaborated.


In reply to a question, Farid said legally KWSB is the sole authority to supply water to the citizens of Karachi, however, due to inadequate arrangements to counter mushroom growth of mineral water factories the agency is exposed to a wide range of problems.


He mentioned that most of the mineral water plants have installed heavy suction pumps and connection at KWSB’s main water supply lines that is not only illegal but also causing shortage of water and increased chances of contamination.


About water supplied by KWSB to the citizens, he said WHO standards are largely complied as the water passes through set criterion of filtration and chlorination before being further processed at different plants and supplied to consumers.


KWSB chief said many of the fake factories are also retrieving water from wells that are contaminated with arsenic hence exposing public to serious dangers.


He reiterated that KWSB must be authorised to issue licenses to all plants preparing and marketing mineral water in Karachi.


Farid said the business of bogus mineral water has been going on in Karachi for the past several years and was rarely countered due to absence of required quality check mechanism.


In reply to another query he said it is only after proper evaluation, including chemical examination of the product that quality certificate could be issued allowing marketing of products considered safe enough for human consumption.


The KWSB chief referred to a recent report released by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, whereby it collected 86 samples of mineral water from 14 different cities from April to June this year, and found 27 of these to be hazardous for human health.


Responding to a query about KWSB action against illegal connections and installation of suction pumps, he said during the recent past, 14 fake mineral water factories in the city were found to have more than 60 illegal water connections.


“We found them to be fake as bottles labelled with varied unauthorised names were found on their premises while water quality was also below the acceptable quality standards,” he said.


KWSB chief said FIRs were registered against the owners of the fake factories at different police stations in city. He said the board would continue with its campaign against violators of law, that too at the cost of serious risk to public health and grave inconvenience to the KWSB consumers in general.

Courtesy:  Daily Times

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