Bangalore city consumer court passes order to all city multiplexes restaurants and eateries to provide clean and free drinking water to every visitor
Bengaluru, April25:In a case involving a Re 1 battle between an activist and a famous fast food restaurant chain over free and clean drinking water, 47-year-old Sudha Katwa has won the battle against Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Bangalore city consumer court passed a significant order pertaining to not just KFC, but all city multiplexes restaurants and eateries , directing them to provide clean and free drinking water to every visitor throughout the year.Sudha on a visit to the KFC’s Yeshwanthpur outlet on May 29, 2016 along with her relatives was denied denied free, clean drinking water and forced to buy a bottle of (mineral) water.Taking a stand that drinking water was one’s right, she had first lodged a complaint with BBMP, Chief Health Officer (CHO) on May 30. In her complaint, she had described how some restaurants were forcing customers to buy priced packaged drinking water by not providing free, clean drinking water even as it was mandatory on their part to provide them.She had sought BBMP, which is the licensing authority, to ensure that city restaurants provided free, clean drinking water.Following BBMP’s inaction, she had moved the Bangalore Urban District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum (DCDRF) October 1.For the deficiency in service, she had sought a compensation of Re 1.
She had also sought that the court direct KFC and BBMP to provide pure drinking water facility in all their restaurants.Besides other documents, she attached her bill of Rs 184 on the said day.She had taken a stand that water was a fundamental right, and it was bounden duty of an eatery, hospital, railway station or a bus stop to provide water free of cost. She had claimed that the restaurant’s act was in violation of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) order, wherein the commission had awarded compensation and cost appeal amount besides directing a cinema hall to provide clean, free drinking water in a similar case.However, KFC, during the hearing, had claimed that they provided free drinking water to their consumers. It had further claimed that the fast food chain was run on self-service module and adopted the practice of serving oneself while purchasing the items or asking for other add-ons such as water, ketchup and tissues etc.