Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) in a drive on Sunday realised Tk 4 lakh in fine from six businesses and sealed off three others in the capital’s Mirpur area for selling untreated and unsafe drinking water in plastic jars without approval of BSTI.
A mobile court led by Executive Magistrate of RAB Sarowar Alam conducted the drive in association with BSTI.
The businesses are Shkider Drinking Water at Shahali, RR Enterprise near Mirpur Zoo, NM Enterprise on Mirpur Zoo Road, Rupali Fresh Drinking Water at Uttar Bethil in Mirpur, Kohinoor Food and Beverage in Mirpur-2 and AN Enterprise at South Bethil in Mirpur-1.
The team destroyed 4,500 water jars containing water collected directly from WASA supply line.
Apart from slapping the fine on the six firms, the court sentenced eight persons to three months’ imprisonment, said Sarowar Alam.
As many as 319 water manufacturing firms got BSTI licence across the country. Of them, 199 are continuing their business.
In Dhaka, 83 licensed companies produce and distribute water. Of them, 10 are bottle water producers.
Unsafe jar water is being sold rampantly in the capital and other cities in the name of pure drinking water, putting public health at risk.
Demand for pure drinking water is high in the capital as the water supplied by Dhaka WASA is not safe enough to drink it directly.
Cashing in on this situation, jar water traders are doing a brisk business by supplying water to business centres, hotels, restaurants, offices, houses, tea stalls and roadside shops in the capital, market sources said.
But most of the jar water is not pure as several companies allegedly fill jars with water from WASA supply line while some other companies do not maintain the standard set by BSTI.
The water being supplied by the jar water companies is not reliable as most of the companies are not maintaining the standard of potable water.
Earlier, a government report showed that 97 percent of ‘filtered’ water supplied to residential houses, offices and markets are impure and contaminated.
In December last year, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) sampled 250 jars from Dhanmondi, Farmgate, Karwan Bazar, Elephant Road, New Market, Keraniganj, Jatrabari, Motijheel, Bashabo, Chawk Bazar, Sadarghat, Malibagh, Rampura, Mohakhali, Gulshan, Banani, Uttara, Airport, Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Gabtoli, Aminbazar, Savar and Ashulia.
Alarmingly high presence of coliform bacteria was found in the samples collected from Elephant Road, Chawk Bazar, Bashabo, Gulshan and Banani areas.