All eateries including those in malls, hotels, restaurants and most importantly, multiplexes in Bengaluru have to provide free, clean, pure drinking water to all customers. The city's civic agency, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike issued a circular to all multiplexes mandating them to ensure that customers have access to free drinking water on their premises.
BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad issued the circular following a recent order by the Bengaluru Urban district consumer disputes redressal forum. The forum that heard a complaint highlighting customer inconvenience at multiplexes and eateries when it comes to drinking water ordered that customers should be given drinking water free of cost. BBMP has also asked these establishments to display boards at strategic points, saying drinking water is available.
The forum in April had asked the BBMP to file a compliance report on the implementation of the order within two months. The complainant who highlighted the matter said that it was unfair to force customers to pay for drinking water which is a right.
"People are asked to pay for drinking water though it is the responsibility of the hotel or eatery to provide it for free. In some cases, eateries provide water but the surroundings are unhygienic," she said. Her complaint also highlighted that a mall in West Bengaluru has 34 food outlets on one of its floors and drinking water is available at one remote corner. In most malls, customers are forced to either run around to find water or pay for water bottles.
The same is the scenario in most multiplexes. The complainant feels that remotely placed water filters and denying free water are a tactic used by owners to force customers to buy packaged water.