ASIA/INDIA - Disparities between rich and poor for the provisioning of water

Thursday, 19 September 2013

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - The poor who live in the city of New Delhi are the most severely affected by the precariousness of water supply in the city. In most of the unauthorized urban settlements, such as overcrowded Sangam Vihar where about one million people live, the local government does not provide running water. Contractors , usually affiliated with political parties, have built connecting tubes with wells for the supply to homes.
The government statistics show that the 17 million inhabitants of the city need 1,025,000,000 gallons of water per day. However, with six treatment plants run by the government that produce 818 million gallons of water per day, the city is facing a shortage of about 207 million gallons per day. A study carried out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, shows the disparity between the water supply among the areas of the city. For example, the inhabitants of the wealthy area of Nangloi Jat receive about 59 gallons of water per person per day, while those of the poorest villages, a few miles away from Nangloi Jat, receive less than one gallon per person per day. The research also shows that about 4 million people in New Delhi have no water supply or cannot rely on tanks. The Delhi Human Development Report 2013, reports that in the slums of the city it is very common to find lines of people waiting for tank wagons for hours. In Sangam Vihar, there are at least 500, mostly women, who every day queue up to fill water from a source situated inside a temple. The upper class in New Delhi, however, pay $ 50 for 1,320 gallons of water to private companies which are not authorized by the government to fill the tanks of their homes. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 19/09/2013)