Mineral Water to be made compulsory in Goa
The Goa Government has decided to make it compulsory for all citizens of
Goa, and visitors to the state, to drink only processed and bottled water,
generically referred to locally as 'mineral water'.
The Minister for Health, Shri Somnath Bisleri, addressed a packed Press
Conference today at the Menezes Braganza Hall in Panjim. Below are some
excerpts of queries from reporters, and the Minister's replies.
"Sir. Why this sudden move by the Government?"
"It is duty of state to protect the life of citizen. We are all knowing
that the water provided by PWD is not safe for drinking. The jaundice
epidemic in Panjim last year is proving that Gorment machinery cannot deal
with such things. Therefore we are making this new rule to safeguard Goa
"What about poorer class people, like motorcycle pilots, who cannot afford
to buy mineral water?
"We will be providing subsidised mineral water at very cheap rate to
persons with Below Poverty Line ration cards."
"Isn't it the duty of the Government to provide citizens with potable
"Arre! Which world you are living in? Who is drinking from pot anymore? Or
by making cup with hands? Those days are gone my friend. Everybody is using
bottle and glass nowadays."
"What about people who have sophisticated filters at home? People who have
already been taking safety precautions for their lives, like riding safely
and following traffic rules?"
"This is what you people are not understanding. Can we come and check
everybody's houses for filters? Hanh? Best we just make one rule for
everyone. And you know who is making money by selling these filters?"
"No. Who is making the money?"
"I don't know either. That's why I am asking. If I knew that would be
different. My family is not connected with making water filters."
"How will you ensure that the mineral water is pure."
"That is good question. We will be sending random sample for testing in UK.
Like Coke and Pepsi."
"What about people in villages where life is relatively safer. Where clean
well water is available and there's less traffic. Why do they have to drink
"You please tell me which village has clean water. Calangute? Candolim?
Sinquerim? There are no proper sewage systems in these villages. Soon every
village in Goa will have contaminated water. The few villages that were
clean, like Colvale and Saligao, are now being used for dumping garbage. So
you see, the Gorment has planned for the future by making mineral water
compulsory today itself. The present Gorment has foresight. Our motto is
'Precaution is better than Planning".
"Shouldn't the Government be trying to solve the water pollution problem?"
"That is easy for you to say. You come to GMC with me. You see the peoples
coming with sickness everyday. So many are dying also. Who is there that
time? If these people were drinking mineral water they would not be dying.
Afterwards you are blaming doctors and whatnot. Health Department is making
so much publicity with posters 'Boil water before drinking', 'Drinking and
driving do not mix', 'What is in your head is more important than what is
on it' You people are not reading these posters."
"But these people are falling sick and dying because the Health Department
has failed to give them clean drinking water!"
"Please understand two things. Firstly Health Department is different from
Public Works Department. Secondly please show me where in the Constitution
it is written that Gorment has to give clean drinking water. Gorment has to
give water. What type water is not mentioned. Gorment has to give roads.
What type roads depends on who is sitting MLA and who is contractor.
Gorment has to give ambulances, and paint the MPs name behind. Who is
driving ambulances in not our problem. Gorment has to give riding and
driving licences. Teaching traffic sense and road safety is only in Road
"Was the inspiration for this rule your recent trip to Singapore?"
"No! No! I just saw all Europeans in Goa drinking mineral water! We have to
learn from the West. Not from the East. We have to keep stray dogs alive
because that's what the West tell us. We have to do everything the West
"Can any brand mineral water be used?"
"Only bottles having ISI mark will be allowed for purchase and consumption.
The Gorment is also shortlisting few firms to provide one bottle every day
to each and every student of 11th and 12th in Goa for just Rs. 2/- per
bottle. Soon we will be giving every student in every college, school and
balvadi in Goa mineral water at just Rs.2/- per bottle.
"So the Government will be subsidising the students' mineral water?"
"You people are never understanding. What money Gorment has got? That is
your money. You are paying tax. We are taking your tax money and giving to
mineral water suppliers. Very simple."
"Any further such plans?"
"Next monsoons we are making mosquito coils compulsory for all houses. That
will take care of malaria problem. Also we will be implementing compulsory
raincoats for all pedestrians and two wheeler riders. People are getting
wet and falling sick because they are using those nonsense cheap Chinese
folding umbrellas. Then they are blaming Gorment."
"Isn't that impugning on our civil liberty? If I decide to take the risk of
getting wet in the rains, and catching a cold, than why should the
"Aha! Now you are talking sense. So you get wet and get pneumonia. Where
you will go? Goa Medical College. Who is paying for GMC? Gorment. With
whose money? Your money. See? By wearing raincoat you will be saving your
life and your money!"
"No! Actually I don't see. As a rational adult I decide to drink the water
I choose to, and get wet in the rain if I want to, and not light mosquito
coils if I don't want to. And maybe I like to eat oily Sorpatel despite
knowing it may cause cholesterol problems. These are risks I decide to
take. The only life effected is my own. The Government has no right to
"That is what I am saying only. We are planning to make preparation,
distribution, sale and consumption of Sorpatel illegal from next year. Like
we did with Gutkha."
"You mean Gutkha is not available in Goa?"
"No Guthka! No Matka! Soon Goa will be 100% perfect state. Financially and
physically healthy citizens. No cholesterol. No sickness. No deaths. You
"Till next year. This is election year. We will not implement any unpopular
rules this year. We might lose the election!"
- Forwarded by www.goa-world.com
Jan 31, 2004