Drinking water supplied by the Delhi Jal Board is not safe for consumption as prescribed quality standards are not being met, Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today.
The Minister also urged consumers to complain if packaged drinking water is sold above maximum retail price at places like five star hotels, cinemas and airport so that the government can take strict action against such sellers.
“The issue of safe drinking water was discussed in the meeting today. Nobody can drink tap water in Delhi. Delhi’s water is not safe for drinking, though there are quality standards in place,” Paswan told reporters after the meeting of the Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC).
Food safety regulator FSSAI informed in the meeting that Delhi’s municipal corporation is responsible for setting the quality standards of drinking water, he said.
“The Council was of the view that safe drinking water is the constitutional right of the people and the quality standards should be followed strictly,” he said.
The Minister said regulation of quality of piped water should come under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), while also regulates packaged drinking water.
At present, it is mandatory for companies to comply with quality standards of packaged drinking water unlike piped water. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) under the Consumer Affairs Ministry is working on upgrading the quality standards for piped water and make it compulsory.
To protect consumers from overpricing of packaged drinking water at select places, the Minister said both the Delhi High Court and consumer courts have given several rulings that packaged drinking water should be sold at MRP at all places.
“There is lack of awareness among consumers on such issues. Be it cricket stadium or five star hotel or airport, if consumers see they are being charged more than MRP for packaged drinking water they should file complaint. We will take strict action,” Paswan added.
Paswan also said the government will set up additional 50 consumer helpline counters in the next 15 days, taking the total number of helpline counters to 62.
He also reviewed the performance of Grahak Suvidha Kendras being run on a pilot basis at five places.