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309 packaged water units on strike

Chennai: Over 309 ISI certified packaged drinking water units belonging to TN Packaged Drinking Water Manuf­acturers Association (TNDWMA) have stopped production since Wednesday, protesting the closure of 103 units in Ch­ennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur by TNPCB (TN Pollution Control Board) for not obtaining pollution control license.

Chennaiites rely solely on packaged drinking water owing to uncertainty over supply from the fast depleting city reservoirs, which only store 2.6tmcft, against total joint storage of 11.057tmcft.

TNDWMA on Thursday petitioned the CM to drop the charges against the 103 units and relax the rule making it mandatory to avail TNPCB license.

“There is no need to get TNPCB nod,” argued TNDWMA patron V. Murali. Claiming that all units have BIS and FSSA (food safety and standard aut­hority of India) quality ce­rtification and over 50 tests were conducted be­fo­re supplying people, Murali said if the water did not conform to central standards, BIS closes the unit.

As per TNPCB norm, every 10,000 litre capacity plant should have one hectare of land to discharge residual water. “Over 90 per cent units are small scale industries that produced over 2000 cans. How could they afford so much land in Chennai?” Murali wondered threatening not to restart production.

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