Gulf News community report ‘Water bottles placed next to garbage bin’, published on February 1 in the ‘Your Turn’ section generated a lot of response from readers, with many saying that they, too, had witnessed similar displays of poor civic sense and hygiene.

We followed up one of the more shocking ones, raised by Naveen Frank. He said that he had seen a number of water bottles, more than half of them sealed placed near a garbage bin just outside his apartment complex in Juma Al Majid Building Block B at Al Nahda, Sharjah.

On further scrutiny, he found the bottles belonged to two different water companies. One was Al Shalal Water Company and the other was Romana Water.

“This time the company cannot justify saying that it was expired water ready to be discarded as some of the sealed bottles were on their trolley ready to be delivered to homes,” Frank told Gulf News.

He then contacted both the companies’ customer care to file a complaint and was not satisfied with the responses provided. “So, according to the water companies, it does not matter where those bottles come from and where they are stored. It is now evident that such things are happening everywhere in the UAE,’ Frank added.

Zasar Malik, marketing manager at Al Shalal Water Company said: “The pictures were quite surprising for me. It is something that should not happen in the future from our part. All we can do now is investigate further into the matter. We will never keep our bottles next to competitor’s bottles, and they will not keep it next to ours therefore we will have to go into details of the situation. We provide best possible service in the best possible manner. Complaints give us an opportunity to improve things.”

On contacting Romana Water, they provided a statement regarding the practices and policies followed by the company: “We are providing bottle free of cost without [a] deposit to customers, most of our customers are returning it to the company and some of our customers throw away the bottles or do not return, when they are shifting houses or moving out of the country. Regarding our quality policy, when you buy Romana bottled water, you are sure of safe, healthy and quality product.... as per the highest standards of Dubai Municipality.

“Romana Water has a policy and they stick to it. The employees are trained to handle different situations and if customers decide to throw the bottles, it is out of the company’s hand.”

— The author is an intern at Gulf News.


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