Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Killing two birds with one stone, isn’t it? But who cares?

Isn’t it shocking that after 63 years of Independence, only 12 per cent of the rural households have drinking water taps? This is despite the National Rural Drinking Water Programme being operative, for which Rs 8,000-crore was provided just in 2009-10.

What is more shocking is that while the drinking water taps are going dry, there is never a shortage of water supply from tankers? Not only Mumbai, cities across the country are under siege by tanker mafia. In the rural areas too, the water mafia has been continuously at work. If the water sources are drying up across the country, I wonder from where the tankers get water. Every one knows that the tanker mafia is leaving the countryside parched and dry, but who cares?

Well, the corporate sector certainly gives an impression that it cares. ITC for instance has launched a project in Gurgaon to teach housemaids on how to save water while cleaning the utensils. Teaching the maid servants on how to save one mug of water is surely some responsibility!

What the corporate sector refuses to point at is the recent decision of the Andhra Pradesh government to allocate 21.5 lakh litres per day from the Krishna River in Guntur district to Coca-Cola. While several hundred villages in Guntur district are grappling with acute drinking water shortage, the government perhaps thinks that rural poor can quench their thirst from drinking Coke instead. To justify its exploitation of water, Coca-Cola claims to be buying mangoes for its Maaza brand under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. Killing two birds with one stone, isn’t it? But who cares?

From the forceful pen of Devinder Sharma on mounting crisis of scarcity of water. In Deccan Herald.
To read the full article click here.

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