Mohsin A H Shaikh
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - A report that appeared in newspapers some days back has certainly broken and exposed the myth which has somehow shrouded bottled mineral water for last few years. This is indeed shocking, shameful as well as most unfortunate that as much as 31 per cent brands of bottled mineral being marketed in different parts of the country are unhealthy, unhygienic and not safe enough for human consumption.
The report was based on a quarterly monitoring result of the Pakistan Council of Research on Water Resources. It sounds a strong a warning to the users of bottled mineral water, whose number is increasing both in public and private sectors for varying reasons, in general and in particular of 27 brands listed therein are exposed to number of serious diseases including different cancerous ailments.
It is rather strange and surprising that even after passage of three days or so of the publication of the PCRWR findings in its quarterly report for April to June, 2013, neither the Federal or any of the Provincial Govts nor their agencies concerned have initiated any action against the companies marketing these brands. The report reaffirmed the views of the majority of the people that filtered water system, also in use in the country is also good for health besides tap water or boiled water. The use of the water filtration system could gain popularity among the people of all walks of life if the manufacturers, both foreign and local, and importers and suppliers of the water filtration system could bring down the prices of their products to the affordable level and hygienic quality of such water like that of tap water or boiled water is publicised more extensively.
The PCRWR, as a matter of fact, should have made its report public itself and asked the Federal and Provincial Govts more specifically as what punitive action should be taken against companies marketing 27 unhealthy brands of bottled mineral water and at the same time also advised the people in so many words not to be attracted by the so-called myth of the bottled mineral water, whose prices are frequently increased due to its growing sale, and instead go for water filtration system, boiled water or tap water to the maximum extent possible.