The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) continues its food safety drive against unlicensed water packages which are allegedly responsible for the diarrhoea outbreak in the city.
The civic body has seized dozens of packaged water containers sold by unlicensed vendors across the city which includes names of renowned brands.
The civic body health officials along with food safety officers and the enforcement branch of the Kolkata Police are conducting several drives across the city seizing packaged water that are sold by unlicensed vendors, at times with labels of known brands.
After the diarrhoea outbreak, KMC had collected around 200 water samples which include samples from packaged water-mostly 20- 30litres containers- that were being sold in diarrhoea affected wards.
As per information shared by the KMC, some of the seized containers revealed renowned brand names that sell mineral water in the market.
The tests carried out on the water samples revealed presence of Coliform bacteria in high amounts, as confirmed by health officials According to the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Praveen Kumar Tripathi : “Several brands of such packaged water containers have been recovered from areas of Anandapur, Kasba, Netaji Nagar and Tiljala.
The water samples have been collected and will be tested in the KMC laboratories.” The unlicensed water vendors are apparently manufacturing and selling these packaged containers across the city in places such as Baghajatin, Ranikuthi, Kasba, Jadavpur and several others. It was observed that these vendors often collect the water from the ponds or use tap water to fill up the containers.
Following which, these packages are labelled and sent to the markets for sale. The water, allegedly, is rarely treated or purified before bottling. Meanwhile, tests conducted on KMC supplied water revealed high amounts of chlorine which is considered to be detrimental to human health, as stated by health experts.
The civic body after the diarrhoea outbreak had reportedly increased the amount of chlorine used to purify the water at the treatment plant, as stated by an engineer.