Fast food chains, malls told to instal water purifiers

Fast food chains, malls told to instal water purifiers

It is now mandatory for all eateries, including multinational restaurants, fast food chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonald’s, shopping malls and multiplexes to provide pure drinking water to their customers.

All eating joints and restaurants including coffee shops such as Barista Coffee, Starbucks, Cafe Coffee Day in Bengaluru have been asked to compulsorily instal water purifiers.

Bengaluru Urban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Form (DCDRF) recently issued an order in this regard to multinational eating outlets refusing to serve drinking water and to malls that provide tap water, to uphold consumers’ rights.

P V Singer, president, DCDRF and M Yashodhamma and P K Shantha, the members, heard a petition by Sudha Katwa, a social activist from Jalahalli against KFC and chief health officer, BBMP and passed the order. KFC has been directed to pay Re 1 compensation which Katwa had sought in her petition, besides litigation cost of Rs 5,000.

Katwa had gone to KFC in Big Bazaar Mall, Yeshwantpur on May 29, 2016. KFC staff refused to serve her drinking water and directed her to buy the packed drinking water bottle. She insisted that KFC should supply free and pure drinking water as it was an eatery, but the staff ignored her pleas.

“I lodged a complaint against KFC with BBMP chief health officer Dr Vatsala. I met her several times seeking action, but she remained silent. Finally, I approached the DCDRF against KFC and CHO, BBMP who have connived to extort money from customers,” Katwa told DH.

She provided the orders of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation regarding the installation of water purifies at all eating joints and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi, regarding the supply of pure drinking water in shopping malls and multiplexes.  Based on the orders, the president and members passed the order. KFC failed to provide its version within the stipulated time and DCDRF did not believe KFC’s stand that Katwa was making false allegations for money.

“I did not file the petition for money, but I decided to move the DCDRF for the larger benefit of the public,” Katwa said.

“These outlets charge around Rs 50 for one bottle of packed drinking water, while people are forced to drink water from taps that are installed near restrooms. These people should stop extorting money from the public and respect consumers’ rights and constitutional rights,” she said.
 

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