The demand of filtered and purified drinking water has increased in the past few years as the population is increasing and consumers are getting more aware and knowledgeable.
Private suppliers are majorly contributing to this ever-rising demand of pure water as government water boards fail to meet the standards and needs.
In this regard in a span of two years four bottled water plants have been set up in less than half a kilometer area of Martin Quarters (Jamshed Road), Jahangir Road.
Pakistan lies on the eighty-eighth position among one hundred and twenty-two countries in drinking water quality as per the WHO (World Health Organization). With time, the awareness of the spread of diseases from contaminated tap water and the advantages of drinking pure safe water as well as the disposable income of consumers are turning people towards adopting a better and healthy lifestyle. This, in turn, has hiked the bottled water market in Pakistan.
Due to the increasing awareness the per capita water usage estimated at five liters is increasing. According to Nestle Pakistan, the water consumption estimate of Pakistan is higher than that of Bangladesh which is of three liters and less than India which is at eleven liters.
Muhammad Khalid Siddiq—DG-Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) said that considering the rise in the growth of filtered water plants a decision has been devised to make a policy for ensuring water quality. Above one hundred and thirty local brands are registered in Pakistan along with the three foreign brands Nestle Pure Life (Nestle), Kinley—Coca-Cola and Aquafina—PepsiCo.
The DG informed that earlier three hundred plants were registered but later one hundred and seventy-nine plants were closed as they were not meeting the needed standards.
As per the findings of PSQCA sixty-nine percent of the water samples collected from twenty-four different cities was found contaminated.
This demand-supply gap can be filled by setting up small investment plants. These plants would need as little as rupees five lac for starting the business and would bring profits in the range of sixty percent to hundred percent. This could be a big opportunity for people who want to start their businesses with minimum resources.
According to a company in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area selling filtered water plants, twenty-five paisa is the cost incurred for processing one liter of water including the purification technique by reverse osmosis, electricity, minerals and labor work. This one liter can then be sold for rupees 2 to 4.
A single plant can process three thousand gallons of water per day. The plant has a lifetime of about ten years. If a plant runs for 12 or 24 hours it then produces profits of rupees 10,000 to 22,000 and 20,000 to 42,000, respectively.
Plant operators have got their set up network and deliver the purified filled watered bottles at doorsteps of their consumers charging them rupees seventy to hundred, whereas in actual the worth of the bottle is between rupees thirty to fifty.
However, there are times when complaints are launched against them for providing sub-standard water.
PSQCA has drafted a policy as per which every plant needs to get a no objection certificate from it for running their activities. This policy also aims at banning the supply of low-standard water.
DG—PSQCA said that the water plants are not to be set up in residential areas and the ones already working in such areas are given a year’s notice to shift to some commercial or industrial area.
Every plant must have a laboratory setup too in order to check the quality of water that whether it is meeting the PSQCR standards or not.
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