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Packaged water needs to have legal metrology stamp: Sadhan Pande

Kolkata: The state Consumer Affairs department will now act tough against spurious packaged water manufacturing units across the state. State Consumer Affairs minister Sadhan Pande said on Tuesday that these packaged water manufacturers from now on will require a special stamp from his department.
"Only ISI mark will not suffice, packaged water manufacturers need to have legal metrology stamp of our department on their jars for the license to sell their stuff," Pande said responding to a query on complaints about the presence of bacteria in packaged water in the state assembly on Tuesday.
The minister said raids on packaged water brands will be carried out across the district. "We are forming task force in all the districts led by the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) to conduct raids on a regular basis," Pande said.
It may be mentioned that according to sources in the Consumer Affairs department, some manufacturers of packaged water are setting up units across the state and are not observing the standard procedure of manufacturing and is thereby compromising with the quality.
"We will not hesitate to stop such units who are functioning without following standard procedures regarding this,'" a senior official of the department said.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has already started conducting raids in association with the Enforcement Branch of Kolkata Police against packaged drinking water manufacturers after coliform bacteria was detected in a number of water samples.
Pande who is also the minister of Self Help Group said that his department will soon start Muktidhara project in 11 districts spanning over 1,030 panchayets.
It may be mentioned that in December 2015, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had initiated Muktidhara project to ensure steady earning, drive away poverty and bring about financial improvement through self help groups and self-employment schemes.
The scheme primarily seeks to empower the financially backward classes, especially women and increase earnings of each family per month, thereby working out more means of earning livelihood for these people.
The project had started off as a pilot project earlier in the districts of Purulia and West Midnapore and had met with much success.
The self-help groups are being encouraged to produce lac, nuts, vegetables, create apiaries, make plates from sal leaves, produce puffed rice, take up domestication and rearing of poultry, black Bengal goat, pigs and other dairy animals. The self-help groups registered under the scheme are being given a loan to the tune of Rs 1.25 lakh.

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