Illegal water bottle manufacturing units without any proper licensing from FSSAI have increased in Bangalore, and have no specified plant for manufacturing bottles. Government has issued notice to 24 companies which are involved in illegal water bottle manufacturing.
These water bottles look like the branded ones, however there is no guarantee of the water quality. Without operating under the FSSAI guidelines, the quality of water is compromised a lot of times.
Naveen, a retail shopkeeper said, “The profit made from selling these water bottles is double compared to the company supplied ones. We purchase from manufacturers who provide with more discount, we can’t afford to think about quality of water or illegal bottles.”.
Reports from FSSAI show the water contains chlorine.
Jagadish, Owner of a Bisleri Unit said, “They have copied our original labels and are selling water bottles in a low margin price. Its affecting our production and the quality is inferior compared to ours. Our water bottles are ISI approved and quality checks are done for the unit regularly. Nearly 60 percent of our sales have reduced due to competition from these cheap unlicensed water selling companies.”
Licensed manufacturers have filed a case against illegal manufacturers under FSSAI and human rights and safety act. Court has issued notice to some of the illegal manufacturers to pay fine and shut down the units.
Shivraj, FSSAI says, “We have ordered for immediate shut down of these units because its harmful as it contains high mineral and chlorine content. We have black listed some companies and have seized water bottles from the factories.”
Food safety department requests customers to verify if the water bottles come with ISI mark before they purchase them.