In a swoop on errant bottled drinking water manufacturers, the government has cancelled the ISI quality mark licence of seven plants including three producing the popular Bisleri brand.
The total number of bottled water companies facing cancellation of ISI standard licence has now risen to 20 in less than a month after the Bureau of Indian Standards launched a nation-wide quality inspection drive.
During its latest crackdown, BIS has imposed "Stop Marking" order on Avon Food and Bevarages of Hyderabad, Annam Associates of Eluru and Pallavi Industries of Vishakhapatnam - all manufacturing Bisleri brand drinking water, official sources said in New Delhi on Friday.
"Their licenses were withdrawn for different discrepancies found during inspections including consecutive failure of samples and unsatisfactory performance", they said.
Stop Marking orders were also issued against Tora Purified Water of Tiruvallur (Tamil nadu) manufacturing Spring Up brand and Rainbow Mineral Water of Sattur (Tamil Nadu) producing the Rainbow brand, they said.
The other two firms facing action are Sri Springs of Eluru (Kalpana brand) and Ganga Mineral Water of Poonamallee (Ganger brand), the sources said.
The licence of 13 plants of well known bottled and packaged water companies had already been cancelled after BIS initiated several steps for strengthening its enforcement wing and ensuring supply of quality drinking water to the consumers in the country.
The sources said as many as 635 samples of bottled water were drawn during the recent inspections and a total of 358 test reports received.
The total number of samples passed was 297, while 61 samples failed to meet the required quality norms laid down by the BIS, they said, adding that warning has been issued to the manufacturers in respect of these 53 samples.
They said no bottled and packaged drinking water could be sold in the market without ISI standard markings.
Therefore, any bottled water manufacturer whose licence has been cancelled would be booked for violation of BIS Act if its product was found in the market, they said.