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Govt enters drinking water business

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 26, 2017-The government has made a foray into lucrative bottled-water business by commencing production of packaged drinking water from its own plant in Panauti Municipality of Kavrepalanchowk district.

The long-pending ‘Mineral Water Project’ of the Nepal Water Supply Corporation (NWSC) was inaugurated by Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Mahendra Yadav on Friday amidst a function held in Panauti.

The plant, according to Minister Yadav, would sell drinking water at the “cheapest price without compromising on quality”.

Minister Yadav said the ministry would provide support to the plant at technical and policy level if needed.

The plant has already started selling 20-litre jars of drinking water, branded as NWSC, in the market. The wholesale price of the jar water has been fixed at Rs47. The plant is mulling over packaging drinking water in one-litre bottles as well. But the minister has directed the NWSC to start packaging drinking water in half-litre bottles as well, said NWSC Acting General Manager Bhupendra Prasad, adding, “The price of water we sell will be cheaper than that available in the market.”

The NWSC had designed the concept of bottled drinking water project some years ago. But it could not move ahead “due to some issues”, according to Prasad. “We are happy that it has finally begun,” said Prasad, adding, “We are committed to supplying pure and safe drinking water.”

The plant, built at a cost of Rs12.5 million, has the capacity to process 1,500-1,600 litres of drinking water per hour.

The Corporation aims to set up similar plants in major cities across the country to “raise access to safe drinking water at affordable price”. The corporation will soon be developing a business plan to market the bottled water.

The plant, built on the land provided by the Panauti Municipality, currently has 11 staff, according to Prasad.

Published: 26-08-2017 09:05

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