As many as 496 of the total 1,123 samples of packaged drinking water analysed during 2017-18 were found to be non-conforming to the prescribed standards of the food safety norms, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.
Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said 246 cases were registered during the period in which conviction was ordered in 97 cases, while penalties were imposed in 135 cases.
In 2016-17, 697 samples were analysed, of which 224 were found to be violating the provisions under the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 and cases was launched in 131 cases, Choubey said.
Of these, conviction was ordered in 33 cases and penalties were imposed in 40 cases, he said.
Instances of sale of packaged drinking water not meeting the prescribed standards have come to the notice of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
As the responsibility of enforcement of the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 primarily lies with states and Union Territories.
The commissioners of Food Safety of states and UTs have been advised by the FSSAI from time-to-time to undertake strict enforcement activities against unauthorised manufacture and sale of packaged drinking water without FSSAI/BIS mark in states and UT governments.
Further to ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food, regular surveillance, monitoring, inspection and random sampling of food products, including packaged drinking water, are being carried out by officials of the Food Safety Departments of the respective states and Union Territories.
In cases where food samples are found non-conforming, recourse is taken to penal provisions specified under the FSS Act, 2006 which may extend to imprisonment for life.