Friday, January 03, 2014

Should water be free

Let me leave this question unanswered by telling you a tale of 2 states -

I belong to a place of abundant and free water - Goa. My village is self sustaining in terms of water ( in fact surplus) and hence water is free there. We have a well in our backyard that gives us enough water through the year. Though this is a function of geographical advantage that Goa has, we have taken extra efforts to deploy rain water harvesting to recharge our well. The government as well has a water shed development program across the state. In other words, we earn our water. 

I currently reside in a water deficit place - Hyderabad. Hyderabad is so unplanned and densely populated that it is almost impossible to make it self sustaining for water. Last summer, we ran out of water (like every other summer). Our bore-wells (that run thousands of feet deep) ran dry. The tankers took care of our water needs. These tankers were filled on government owned bore-wells in nearby villages. And one day the inevitable happened. The local farmers of these villages stopped all the tankers from filling water. The rate at which water was being pumped from these village bore-wells, lead to the water table depleting. The farmers did not get enough water for their crop. 

Tankers are merely a mode of transport. This problem would come even for piped water. The fact is urban dwellers are so arrogant and oblivious to the damage they cause. They assume they are entitled to all the resources whereas in reality, they are living off the villages. Even electricity comes from large hydro - electric power stations that are constructed by unsettling hundreds of villages. And we still want all of it free, or at half rate. We call it our basic need. I think the cities are like bakasurs (बकासुर )
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