Ban on RO systems to continue in Delhi, Supreme Court declines to stay NGT order

FE Online
RO banned in Delhi

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to interfere with the National Green Tribunal order which prohibited use of RO filters in Delhi areas with Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) less than 500 per litre. A bench of justices RF Nariman and S Ravindra Bhat asked Reverse Osmosis (RO) manufactures to approach the Centre and directed the government to consider their representation before passing a notification.

The top court’s passed the ruling while hearing a petition filed by Water Quality India Association, representing the RO manufacturers.

The association had moved the court against the NGT’s order wherein it had had directed the government to regulate the use of purifiers and sensitise public about the ill effects of demineralised water.

The SC bench said that the association can approach the concerned ministry within ten days and raise the issue with relevant materials.

During the course of hearing today, the association’s counsel referred to a recent Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) report on standards of water in various cities across the country and said that it points out presence of heavy metals in Delhi’s groundwater.

Earlier in May, the NGT had directed the Ministry of Environment to frame rules for manufacturing and sale of RO filters, and banned use of RO in areas where TDS in water was below 500 mg per litre. The tribunal had also ordered the RO manufacturers to ensure that more than 60% of water is recovered. Notably, the current system of RO discard about 80% of water which is processed, leading to huge wastage.

On November 4, the NGT said that its orders have not been implemented in the Ministry and Central Pollution Control Board (CBCB). It set December 31 as deadline for the both to implement its decision. The Water Quality India Association, representing the RO manufacturers, then approached the Supreme Court contesting NGT’s decision.