Union consumer affairs and food minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday said that consumers should complain if packaged drinking water is sold above the maximum retail price (MRP) at places like five-star hotels, cinemas and airports so that the government can take strict action against such sellers.
To protect consumers from overpricing of packaged drinking water at select places, the minister said both the Delhi High Court and consumer courts have given several rulings that packaged drinking water should be sold at MRP at all places.
"There is lack of awareness among consumers on such issues. Be it cricket stadiums or five-star hotels or airports, if consumers see they are being charged more than MRP for packaged drinking water, they should file a complaint. We will take strict action," Paswan said.
The minister also said that drinking water supplied by the Delhi Jal Board is not safe for human consumption as prescribed quality standards are not being met. "The issue of safe drinking water was discussed in the Central Consumer Protection Council meeting today. Nobody can drink tap water in Delhi. Delhi's water is not safe for drinking though there are quality standards in place," Paswan told journalists after the meeting here.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) informed in the meeting that Delhi's municipal corporation is responsible for setting the quality standards of drinking water. The Council was of the view that safe drinking water is the constitutional right of the people and the quality standards should be followed strictly, he said.
The minister added that regulation of quality of piped water should come under the FSSAI. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) under the consumer affairs ministry, is working on upgrading quality standards for piped water and make it compulsory, he added. Paswan also said that the government will set up a committee to suggest ways to deal with complaints of consumers who buy goods on ecommerce platforms. The decision has been taken in the wake of several complaints from online buyers related to delay or non-delivery of products and sub-standard goods, he added.