Vijayawada: There are more than 500 unauthorised small and big mineral water plants in and around the city ready to do business in the forthcoming Pushkaralu.
The unauthorised mineral water plants and packaged drinking water plants set up on the outskirts of the city are running without any licence as they do not come under the purview of VMC limits and do not confirm to BIS standards. Some of them are also located in the neighbouring Guntur district.
The sale of water sachets and water bottles which do not have any drinking water standards and are contaminated with harmful bacteria will be a health hazard for the pilgrims coming for Pushkaralu. Local pan shops and small shops are fully equipped with large stocks of unlicenced mineral water packets and bottles.
“We have not recently sanctioned any licence or conducted any raids on the mineral water plants as we did not receive any complaints. We have the right to check the water standards to issue licence and can seal the plant if we receive any complaint. Regular checks should be done by the food inspectors of the district,” says VMC medical officer Babu Srinivas.
“We got the information of the illegal water plants in and around the city but we don’t have adequate staff to conduct regular checks. Only three members are allotted to the department and we need more,” says food inspector M. Srinivasa Rao.
“We don’t know about the contamination of water or BIS standards. We make good profit on sales of local water bottles and sachets compared to company products, and they are popular with the public being low priced,” says a pan shop owner in Patamata....