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SC gives 10 days to bottled water companies to fix shortcomings

LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered bottled water companies to fix their shortcomings within 10 days, ARY News reported.

Hearing a suo motu case regarding ground water exploitation by mineral water companies at the apex court’s Lahore Registry, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said if inspection report found poor quality of any bottled water, the respective company will be ordered to shut its operations. The CJP had summoned owners of 11 mineral water manufacturing companies today.

The court also ordered the commission, formed by the apex court, to inspect water plants of all bottled water companies.

Director general Punjab Food Authority informed the court that notices were sent to the companies, but they refused to accept them.

The CJP responded that it was a matter of lives of people. “The court will take stern action in this regard.” Until we catch the big fish, the problem cannot be fixed, he added.

During the hearing, a harsh exchange ensued between the DG PFA and owner of one of the companies.

The chief justice expressed his resentment on the statement of the water company owner and said: “You might be a son of an affluent man, but not in the court. We issue orders of your arrest and filing a case for misconduct.”

The owner immediately apologized to the court and the CJP subsequently withdrew the arrest order.

The court was further told that packaging of single mineral water bottle costs a company around eight rupees’, to which, CJP Nisar said the court was contemplating to reduce price of the bottled water.

CJP Saqib Nisar had taken up a suo motu case pertaining to selling of bottled water by extracting groundwater without paying any charges and if it is fit for human consumption.

Meanwhile, a report submitted by the Environment Protection Agency said the bottled water companies had been extracting underground water worth Rs9 million per hour in the main cities of Punjab including Lahore and Sheikhupura. It said the companies have no laboratory to analyse the fitness of the underground water for human consumption.

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