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Pollution control panel clueless about illegal water packaging units in Delhi

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[h=1]Pollution control panel clueless about illegal water packaging units in Delhi[/h]

There are nearly 64 water packaging units operating in Delhi, many of them allegedly extracting groundwater, even as the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has no statistics of such units.


The list of water packaging units across India with BIS licence in 2014 shows 64 such units in Delhi. However, an RTI response from DPCC revealed that the Committee does not have the data on such units even as it goes on to claim in another response that it is the agency that acts against units operating without consent under the Air and the Water Act.


Environmental activist Vikrant Tongad had filed an RTI application with the DPCC seeking information on the total number of water packaging units in Delhi and how many of them were using groundwater. He had also sought information on units operating without proper consent under the environmental laws.


The DPCC then replied that the data is not available. Not satisfied with the reply, Mr. Tongad checked the BIS website which clearly showed 64 such units in Delhi.


Thereafter, he wrote to the Lieutenant-Governor complaining about how the DPCC did not have any data on the matter. He also sought inquiry against various small mineral water supplying agencies and packaged water units running without consent and extracting groundwater even as many areas in Delhi have been notified as over-exploited.


“The DPCC’s attitude is extremely disappointing. Its officials should be acted against,” Mr. Tongad had said in the complaint.


After the complaint, the DPCC supplied information about five water packaging units against which it has acted on public complaints for operating in non-conforming areas, while citing a Supreme Court order. It is to be noted that the units under DPCC’s scanner hold a BIS licence, said Mr. Tongad.


“It is shocking to learn that DPCC does not have any data or statistics on such water packaging units. Who knows they are extracting groundwater or using tankers. And how is DPCC expected to act against any unit flouting the norms when it does not have the relevant data,” he added.


“The irony is that the DPCC, on the one hand says it does not have statistics on the total number of water packaging units in the city. On the other hand it claims authority for acting against units operating without consent. Is it relying on public complaints?” said Mr. Tongad.

DPCC could not be reached for comments.


Read More: Pollution control panel clueless about illegal water packaging units in Delhi - The Hindu

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