Bought bottles for Rs20, sold them for Rs75
The water mafia in Gurgaon has cashed in on the growing need for safe drinking water. A highly profitable business, the gang used to purchase a 20-litre jar for Rs20, fill it with unfiltered tap water and sold it for Rs75.
Despite the police claiming to have sealed five illegal water plants in the city on Tuesday, it seems to be only the tip of the iceberg and many more plants may be churning out hundreds of fake mineral water bottles.
The seven employees arrested by the police confessed that the plants they worked for did not have any water treatment mechanism or purifiers and they used to fill tap water and seal the jars. They would also extract groundwater illegally.
DCP Maheshwar Dayal said the accused would reuse empty branded bottles manufactured by a reputed firm and sold them as genuine products. The police have also seized hundreds of used bottles, he added.
A plant owner told HT: “This is a business to generate fast money. It is easy to fool people as an ordinary person cannot make out the difference between an original and a fake bottle.”
An expert said that a bottle hardly costs Rs20 and the water mafia sells it for Rs75.
“The margins they generate is much more than what branded companies get as they do not pay any tax nor spend on acquiring approvals for their products. Hygiene is not a concern for them,” he said.