With just over a week before the Bureau of Indian Standards' (BIS) mandatory quality certification for bottled water comes into force, it has been reported that only three natural mineral water brands have obtained the necessary ISI certificate.

But according to local press, 229 franchisees of all the major packaged water companies across the country have obtained the certificate, including approximately 14 Coca-Cola manufacturing facilities, 15 belonging to Bisleri and five that are owned by Pepsi.

Other major players including Nestle's Pure Life and Prakesh Chauhan's Bailey have also obtained the certificate.

The deadline for the mandatory labelling was due to come into force on March 29th this year. But after requests from manufacturers to extend the deadline, in view of the difficulties of withdrawing non-ISI marked water from the market, the deadline was extended to September 29th 2001.

All packaged water will in future, be tested by the BIS four times a year for microbiological impurities, toxic content and presence of radioactive element.

Bottled Water: The International Market