THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The cost of bottled water has now been reduced to Rs. 13 from Rs. 20 in the state of Kerala. The government has initiated this rule under the ‘Essential Commodities Act’.
P Thilothaman, the Minister of Food and Civil Supplies declared that the reduction occurred after numerous criticism from the public about the high price of drinking water. He stated, "A notification on the new price-- Rs 13 per litre-- will be issued within two days. We have taken legal opinion on bringing bottled water under the category of essential commodities."
It was also revealed that the government had decided upon lowering the price to Rs. 11 to 12 per litre, about 2 years ago. Unfortunately, it failed to get put into action as major drinking water producing companies protested against it.
The minister further mentioned, "There were widespread complaints against the price. A section of manufacturers had opposed the price cut. When we had convened a meeting, local traders also opposed our proposal to sell it in the Rs 11-12 range. Now the price cut was possible as bottled water has been made an essential commodity.”
When asked if other commodities will also experience a price drop, Thilothaman answered that there are no such plans as of yet. He also added that other measures will only be enacted after proper intervening of public complaints.
Association president, K Muhammad also spoke about the initiative, where he expressed, “It will be a crime if the price of packaged drinking water exceeds Rs 13 inside Kerala now.”
The state government also plans to take severe action against the manufacturers who are operating without an official license. Currently, there are 200 packaged drinking water producers in the state of Kerala.