The National Green Tribunal (NGT), on Tuesday, directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to issue by the year-end a notification banning RO purifiers where total dissolved solids (TDS) in water are below 500 milligrams per litre.
An expert committee report stated that if TDS is less than 500 milligrams per litre, a RO system will not be useful. In fact, it will remove important minerals and cause unnecessary wastage of water.
“Even after one year, further extension of time has been sought by MoEF on the ground of lock-down. Let necessary action be now completed positively by December 31, 2020,” the bench said.
The NGT had earlier said the delay in compliance with its order is causing harm to public health and environment and it be complied with expeditiously.
The Ministry had in January sought four months for executing the NGT order.
The MoEF in its plea had said that for effective compliance of the order four months are required two for wide circulation of draft notification for inviting comments, and two for the incorporation of comments, finalisation of notification and obtaining approval from Ministry of Law and Justice.
The matter is listed for next hearing on January 25.
The NGT had on the last date of hearing slammed the ministry for the delay in issuing the notification and warned the officer concerned of stopping his salary.
The tribunal had earlier said its order was based on a report of an expert committee, which also comprised a representative of the MoEF, and is enforceable without permission of any other authority with penal consequences.
RO stands for reverse osmosis. It is a water purification process in which water is passed through a partially permeable membrane to remove ions, unwanted molecules and large particles from drinking water.
According to Transparency Market Research’s forecast, the Indian water purifier market will be worth $4.1 billion by 2024. Demand for affordable and pure water will ensure swift uptake of water purifiers. According to Transparency Market Research, the market for water purifiers has gained immense traction in recent years due to an awakening towards healthier living and the dearth of sources of potable water has made the usage of water purifiers indispensable. Also, contamination of water bodies and depletion of freshwater resources has made water purification systems a dire need.
It will be seen how recent guidelines by NGT, will impact the RO industry in the country.
Written by Kumar Saurav, He is Journalism graduate from Indian Institute of Mass Communication New Delhi.