By CA Valerian Dalmaida
The world is facing an acute shortage of drinking water, but certain countries have continued the drinking water supply to their people for a healthy and quality life in spite of not getting rain and the desert ecology. Chief among them are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who have installed desalination plants to convert sea water into potable water. In fact, in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the water supplied to the residents in apartments and villas is so potable that you can drink directly from the tap.
Coming back to India, though it gets rain, the water is not harvested and every year, it gets thirstier for drinking water. In the summer, the water tankers make mayhem and, in fact, it has turned into a water mafia. But let’s not talk about this. Let us, however, analyze what we can do to supply potable drinking water without interruption to the citizens and through this, provide a better quality of life.
In fact, it is the duty of the State and Central Governments to supply water to its citizens. This is not a favour they are bestowing on their citizens who pay for everything through their nose. They pay for water, electricity, municipal tax, Income Tax and GST and some times, toll charges and bribes.
In the olden days, there were ponds and lakes in India and, in fact, in most of the homes, there was a well wherein water was stored and percolated to the earth. Today, the public ponds and wells are dumped with garbage and waste and the unscrupulous people who have turned to land mafia, have converted these areas into dwelling places. There are no programmes by the Government to harvest rainwater and to increase the ground water level. The elected representatives are not even bothered about how we can improve the situation. They would rather shut down the water supply and in turn, close the industries temporarily.
In this current situation, along with giving priority to rain harvesting which increases groundwater level, the Governments must plan to install desalination plants in the coastal states of India. To give an example, for a population of 3 lakhs it would cost around Rs. 680 crores to supply continuous supply through a desalination plant. The population of Mangaluru in the coastal region of Karnataka has a population of about 5 lakhs and the desalination plant will cost around 1000 crores. This can be done through private entities for a period of 30 years, wherein they can work with a revenue sharing model.
If in one city, the above is successful, in a matter of time this could be done in all coastal cities to distribute continuous water supply to the citizens. People can take a sigh of relief and be free the water tank mafia and have a good quality life.
Disclaimer: The write-up is the opinion of the author and does not reflect the views of newskarnataka.com
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