COVID-19: Madras HC lets packaged drinking water units operate temporarily sans licence

The court also said the units will have to provide 15 per cent of the drinking water canisters to the state which will supply them to the needy for free. 

Published: 23rd March 2020 04:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2020 04:41 PM   |  A+A-

Representative image | r satish babu

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: At a time when the state is battling the Covid-19 epidemic, the Madras High Court on Monday permitted the TN government to allow all packaged drinking water bottling units to temporarily function without licences till July 31. The court also said the units will have to provide 15 per cent of the drinking water canisters to the state which will supply them to the needy for free. 

Passing the order on Monday, a division bench comprising justices Vineet Kothari and R Suresh also said that the state has to permit bottling units to operate only in those localities that are considered to be safe and semi-critical with regard to groundwater availability. 

The division bench passed the order while hearing a batch of pleas seeking that the illegal tapping of groundwater be restrained. During the hearing, the court directed the state to seal all the illegal units and sought the fresh renewal of licences by all the units. Recently, the court asked the state government to inform it of the measures adopted on the uniform supply of water across the state in view of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The advocate general Vijay Narayan on Monday submitted that the state had decided to permit all packaged water manufacturing units in safe and semi-critical areas to temporarily work and operate even without licence.

The modalities to hand over 15 per cent of the water to the state in canisters are being worked out, he added. 

Recording the submissions, the division bench passed the order, saying, "We permit the state to go ahead and issue necessary orders for the temporary scheme with suitable conditions for allowing production till July 31". 

The court then posted the pleas to April 28 for further hearing.

India Matters


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  • Soumitra

    It is required to be very clear in stating the licenses : Are the units allowed to operate without the basic BIS issues ISI license ? Or it's the fssai License ? Agreed
    3 years ago reply
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