Non-cooperation of departments cause hindrance to ensure water quality

ISLAMABAD:Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) is facing hindrance to have proper quality checks to ensure provision of safe drinking water to the citizens due to lack of feedback and non-cooperation of relevant provincial authorities, mandated to ensure the same task.

PCRWR is an allied department of Ministry of Science and Technology that has mandate to test the water and generate reports. Those reports are sent to all stake holders including concerned authorities.

An official of PCRWR, while giving details on Sunday said “PCRWR has recently released a report for the last quarter of 2018 on quality of bottled water in which six brands of mineral or bottled water were found unsafe for public consumption.”

Official said that the report was sent along with the letter of Chairman PCRWR to all the concerned departments, ministry, chief secretaries of all provinces including secretaries of Azad Jammu Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and to Director General Scientific and Technological Research Division (STQC).

Official said, “PCRWR despite having needful and active correspondence, didn’t get any feedback or action report.”

He said, “PCWR monitors water quality and release the report to the media, departmental website and relevant departments.”

Official said, “Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) was Licensing Authority and Provincial Food Authorities come under administrative control of chief secretaries those are supposed to take action”, official added.

He informed that eighteen amendment transferred the powers to the provinces after which food was subject of Provincial Authorities.

He further said that Supreme Court had a strong check and balance on the water quality and mineral water companies had to go through strong check balance. “When bottled water companies didn’t comply with quality standards, in next quarter they faced action”, official added.

Responding a question official said, “PCRWR doesn’t have any data on closure or cancellation of licenses because there was no correspondence back to the department”.