Coimbatore: Think before you gulp down water from the bubble top can you just purchased. It has been found that a majority of the water packaging units do not adhere to basic hygiene and safety norms. A recent raid by the food safety department found that water in eight out of 10 water packaging units it checked was not fit for consumption. The water contained yeast, mould and even dangerous bacteria like ecoli and coliform. Three of the units have already opened shop again, after getting a stay from the court.
Several residents of the city have begun buying canned water for drinking, after water supply by the corporation reduced to anywhere between once in five days to once in 22 days. The severe droughts that hit the city have also led to ground water levels dropping alarmingly and borewells going dry. With ground water turning salty in many areas and corporation water supply becoming scanty, most households, including those in slums, buy a 20-litre can of water at least once every four days, believing it is safe.
However, a raid on 10 water packaging units spread across the western parts of the district, including Thondamuthur, Vadavalli, Thadagam, Thudiyalur, two months ago found that water from eight of the units were unfit for consumption. “In at least three companies, we found their water containing bacteria like ecoli and coliform,” said a senior food safety officer. “In two companies, the chlorine levels in the water was as high as close to 50 gm per litre, against microbiological standards of 0.2 mg per litre,” he said. All the other samples were found containing yeast and mould along the can and in the water. One unit was found misbranding the product by not mentioning the batch number.
These water cans, which cost anywhere between Rs 30 and Rs 60 for 20 to 25 litres, are sold under at least 70 different brands. There are 72 packaged water units in the district, according to the Food Safety and Standards Act of India (FSSAI) list. All these units procure water from borewells, add chlorine, purify it, manually fill it into cans and sell them. “The problem comes because there are no mechanised water canning plants for 20 litre and 25 litre cans in these units, unlike for one litre bottles, 500 ml bottles and water packets,” said the food safety officer. “So they manually fill these cans, so contamination by hands is high,” he said. “They are also advised to store the water for a day and check it for bacteria before supplying it, which they again do not do because of heavy demand and competition.”
Corporation water can hardly be considered safer, said a Vadavalli resident. “When I gave a sample of corporation supplied water for testing, it was found to contain pseudomonas bacteria and even fecal traces,” said R Jayashree.
Doctors advise all residents to either boil or further purify can water before drinking it, or buy trusted bigger brands even if they are more expensive. “The safer option is to boil or RO filter even canned water before drinking. Especially for children and people with low immunity like the elderly or people who have recently recovered from an illness,” said resident medical officer of Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital Dr A Soundaravel. ” Bacteria like ecoli and coliform can cause severe dysentry,” he said.
சேலம்: தரம் குறைவான அப்பள தயாரிப்பில் ஈடுபட்டவருக்கு, 10 ஆயிரம் ரூபாய் அபராதம், ஒருநாள் சிறை தண்டனை அளித்து, சேலம் நீதிமன்றம் உத்தரவிட்டது. சேலம், சூரமங்கலம் மூலைப் பிள்ளையார் கோவில் தெருவை சேர்ந்தவர் பீட்டர், 42. இவர், அப்பளம் தயாரித்து விற்று வந்தார்.
கந்தம்பட்டியில் உள்ள இவரது உற்பத்தி இடத்தில், 2016 செப்., 27ல், உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர்கள் சோதனை நடத்தினர். அப்பளத்தை ஆய்வுக்கு அனுப்பியதில், அது தரக்குறைவாக இருந்தது கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டது. இந்த வழக்கு சேலம் ஜே.எம்.எண் – 4ல் நடந்து வந்தது.
நேற்று வழங்கிய தீர்ப்பில், பீட்டருக்கு, 10 ஆயிரம் ரூபாய் அபராதம், நீதிமன்றம் கலையும் வரை, ஒருநாள் சிறை தண்டனை விதித்து, மாஜிஸ்திரேட் லிங்கம் உத்தரவிட்டார்.