New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) In wake of prohibiting illegal sale of contaminated water in various forms, the Delhi High Court has asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to put a stop to hawkers selling beverages like ‘shikanji’, ‘lassi’, ‘lemon soda’, sugarcane juice and ‘jal jeera’, besides cut fruits, and take action against them.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chnadra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad noted that the civic body, with police’s help, has been taking action against the illegal dissemination of contaminated water and artificially-flavoured coloured drinks made from harmful chemicals and substances in all the zones here.
“Needless to state that the respondent/MCD must continue to ensure that hawkers are prohibited from selling contaminated water or passing of any contaminated beverages as shikanji, lassi, coloured drinks, soda water, lemon soda, cut fruits, sugarcane juice, jal jeera, Rooh Afza and kanji bottle.
“In this regard, the respondents must continue to carry out regular raids, confiscate illegal material and initiate prosecution against individuals engaged in the selling of contaminated water or passing of any contaminated beverages as shikanji, lassi, coloured drinks, soda water, lemon soda, cut fruits, sugarcane juice, jal jeera, Rooh Afza and kanji bottle,” the bench said.
The court was dealing with a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Refrigerated Water Licensees Association, which stands disposed of now.
The Association has more than 300 water-cooling units and had sought court’s directions to the authorities concerned to forthwith put a ban on the sale of contaminated water by unlicensed roadside hawkers through e-rickshaws and unauthorised permanent structures and on the sale of artificially-flavoured coloured drinks made from harmful chemicals and substances calling them shikanji, lassi, aamras, etc.
The MCD carried out hygiene raids in the South zone from May 1, 2022 to November 7, 2022, in which 47 shikanji, 54 lassi, 23 cold drink, 68 juice, 54 jal jeera, and 13 sugarcane crusher rehris were seized with 19 water trolleys. A total of 547 water trolleys were checked, the court noted.
In the West zone, 132 shikanji, lassi and coloured drink rehris, 11 sugarcane crushers and three unlicensed water trolleys were seized, 148 rehris selling lemon drinks were removed and seven illegal water-cooling plants were prosecuted.
Similar action was also taken in the Central, Najafgarh, Civil Lines, City SP, Shahdara (South), Shahdara (North), Public Health Department, Karol Bagh, Narela and Kesha Puram Zones.