India is facing a major water crisis and alarming issues like these get masked by the news that doesn’t really matter as much as drinking water. The states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are looking at a major water crisis as reserves are running dry.
India’s largest city, Chennai is one of the first major cities to face the effects of the water crisis as the scorching summer has completely dried out the city’s four major water reservoirs.
“The condition of people in Chennai is really bad at this point. We have to wait for days till we get water. Even this water is really bad and not unto drinking standards. We have to repeatedly filter it to make it drinkable. The privileged class can afford bottled water but eventually, even they would run out of money.” Says Satish Ramalingam, a resident of Chennai.
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The four reservoirs that supplied the city with water are nearly all dry. Despite controlling the outflow of the water, the authorities can’t seem to find a solution on rehydrating the reservoirs.
A report by NITI Aayog has also sounded an alarm about the reducing groundwater in our country. Groundwater is a major source of water for a lot of cities in India that don’t have any major water bodies around them. Cities like Delhi, Chennai, and Hyderabad will run completely run out of groundwater by 2020 and this would affect more than 100 million people in India.
The report further states that if water resources keep depleting at this rate, 40% of Indians will have no access to clean drinking water by 2030. We were promised that our country would be a superpower by 2020 which is only a few months away and the effects of water running out can already be seen in cities like Chennai.
At this point, water trucks are brought into Chennai from neighboring cities and people have to line up in scorching heat to fill up water. “We have to wait for the water trucks to arrive in our area and we are given out tokens by locals. we have to line up and exchange the tokens to fill water into our cans and containers. When we pay taxes, we expect the government to provide us with clean drinking water. But instead, we have to suffer. Will we be getting a tax refund because the government failed to do their job?” Says Parvati Seetharaman, a businesswoman from Chennai.
The situation is such that a lot of private offices and companies in Chennai have asked employees to work from home as even they don’t have access to water.
As the government has dismissed the crisis by calling it a “media hype” they claim to be working on the desalination of seawater. But the only viable solution that we think may actually work is harvesting freshwater from all possible sources.
It's not even funny how the government is calling this crisis a media hype while people are literally dying because of violence over water. A 33-year-old man from Tamil Nadu was beaten to death as he was reportedly drawing large amounts of water from a public tap in Thanjavur.
In the state of Maharashtra, the Village of Hatkarwadi which is about 20 miles from Beed has been almost completely deserted as people are forced to flee their homes in search of water. As people desperately look for a solution to the water crisis, animals also stare into the eyes of death. There have been a number of incidents where cattle and stray animals are dying because of the lack of water. As the drought leaves crops withered, livestock is starving and will eventually die.
India ranks 120 among 122 countries in the water quality index as more than 75% of households in the country lack a supply to clean drinking water.
After going through all these facts, do you still think the water crisis is just a media hype?