This story is from archives and was originally published a year ago.
Those involved in the illegal sale of spurious mineral water supply in the city have confessed that the business has upto 100% profit guarantee, without any investment.
It just needs a site, where normal water can be filled in jars bearing labels of popular brands like Bisleri, Aquafina or Kingfisher, and some vans to supply and deliver them to the markets.
As against its cost of Rs. 10 per jar (of 20-litre capacity), a locally purified water can is sold to retailers between Rs. 30-40, which in turn is sold for Rs. 70-75 to consumers, who believe that they are spending money on mineral water to avoid health risks.
A majority of the players in the racket are the van drivers and other helpers who have worked with some legitimate water supplier and learned the tricks of the trade.
They threaten the retailers to buy water from them and the distributors feel helpless.
These revelations came after HT spoke to some of the eight accused arrested in this connection last month.
"This is a business with guaranteed return. It hardly needs any investment.
It does not require licences, certification or laboratory tests for approval of products," said one of the accused, adding that there are dealers in Delhi, who provide jars and other things on loan at low monthly installments.
"Anyone can start this business with no investment. I bought two pick-up vans on installments and I used to earn around Rs 1 lakh a month. No one checks the date, only sticker and brand name should be the same on jars. It is easy to fool people as no one compromises on the price also. I have sold tap water at the branded jar's price and the margins are almost double," confessed Virender Singh, who was running a plant in Sector 18.
Prithvi Singh, Vikas Yadav and Gajender Yadav, who had also been running the business for more than two years, said stickers and labels are easily available in Delhi and many people from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi purchase it from there. "The mafia has divided areas and no distributor can go out of his area.
People have become rich in a few months," said Prithvi Singh.