Bottled drinking water in Kerala will henceforth cost Rs 13 a litre with the Left government deciding to bring packaged water under the ambit of the Essential Commodities Act with a view to regulate its price.
One litre of bottled water presently costs Rs 20 in the state.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister P. Thilothaman said the government decided to regulate the price of bottled water after receiving widespread complaints from the public about its exorbitant price.
"A notification on the new price-- Rs 13 per litre-- will be issued within two days. We have taken legal opinion on bringing bottled water under the category of essential commodities," he told.
Though the government had mulled cutting the price to Rs 11-12 two years ago, it could not be implemented due to protests from large scale bottled water manufacturers and traders, the minister said.
"There were widespread complaints against the price. A section of manufacturers had opposed the price cut. When we had convened a meeting, local traders also opposed our proposal to sell it in the Rs 11-12 range," he said.
The minister said now the price cut was possible as bottled water has been made an essential commodity.