By Rupin Chopra and Reetika Wadhwa
In a recent development, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India vide its order dated November 22, 2019 in the case of Water Quality Association of India (WQAI) v. Friends and ors. has directed the appellants i.e. manufacturers of Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purifiers to point out to the Ministry the material it has in possession against the ban imposed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) on use of reverse osmosis (RO) systems in areas where the amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) was less than 500 milligram/litre (mg/l).
What was NGT’s order?
Here it would be relevant to mention that the NGT vide its order dated May 28, 2019, instructed the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (“MoEF & CC”) to issue appropriate notification prohibiting the use of RO systems in areas where the amount of TDS was less than 500 milligram/litre (mg/l) and creating of public awareness about ill effects of demineralized water on public health namely removal of important minerals as well as undue wastage of water caused.
Proceedings before the Apex Court
Aggrieved by the aforesaid order of NGT, the appellants challenged the impugned order in the Supreme Court. Thus, the Supreme court has now granted the appellants period of ten days from the date of order to approach the Ministry with relevant materials for consideration of their contentions before an appropriate notification is issued by the Ministry in furtherance to NGT’s order.
The NGT through its order has indicated the requirement of controlling the adverse impact of demineralization of water for human consumption and the wastage of unused water in the era of depleting natural resources which may be addressed by the Government in due course of time.
 Friends through its General Secretary Applicant(s) Versus Ministry of Water Resources, National Green Tribunal Principal Bench, New Delhi Original Application No. 134/2015