Because of alleged connivance of the corrupt personnel of health and food departments, more than 2 million people of district Dera Ghazi Khan have been deprived of potable water since the creation of Pakistan, even bottled water supplied here is not worthy to be drunk.

Punjab Ombudsman Javed Mahmood said in a case that mineral water of inferior standard is marketed in DG Khan by Aqua Minra Company which has no facility of manufacturing of mineral water plant; it (water) can affect the health of public at large and is against public policy (a copy is available with The Nation).

The Punjab Ombudsman directed that the Food Department and Health Department of Dera Ghazi Khan should have a look into the matter and its manufacturers as per rules of The Pure Food Act, 1960 and The Punjab Food Rules, 2011. If a company including Aqua Minra Company has no facility of manufacturing plant of itself, legal action be taken against the said company. There can be no justification of licence of marketing of mineral water and both agencies ensure regularly that the mineral water is prepared and bottled according to the laid down standards, he directed.

Earlier, Mudassir SATTAR of Block No-F Dera Ghazi Khan had lodged a complaint with the court that he purchased a bottle of mineral water manufactured by Aqua Minra Company. The bottle was sealed but it contained an ant, he said. He purchased bottle from Sadique Medical Store situated at Block No-L DG Khan. The bottle of disputed mineral water was bearing seal of Himalaya Cool Company (another company name) though the name of manufacturing company was Aqua Minra Company. He revealed that Aqua Minra Company has no mineral water plant. It purchases the mineral water from other companies and affixes its seal with different companies name like Himalaya Cool Company and Ultra Pak Company.

The complainant also alleged that he delivered the bottle to District Officer Health (DO-H) who later handed over the said bottle to food inspector for urgent action. But the food inspector colluded with the management of Aqua Minra Company and a false report was prepared, even DOH DG Khan has informed the district police officer about illegal activities of the said company but to no avail, he said. Therefore, he requested to the court for action against Aqua Minra company.

Talking to The Nation, Mudassir said that despite the order of court, corrupt mafia of health and food departments has not taken action against the company’s management. Substandard and harmful water is still being sold in the title of mineral water by many others companies, he said. These companies sale inferior quality water for about 10 months on with full swing and earn millions of rupees from the consumers, he said.