Monday, March 03, 2008

India: 60 Years: 60 Words: [14] Drinking Water

India: 60 Years: 60 Words: [14] Drinking Water

India has competed 60 years of independence and to mark this, I am presenting this series of Articles, about the words, that are meaning a lot for the progress of the country. If you feel I missed some thing [For listing of words see the first article “India: 60 Years: 60 Words”] do inform me at I will try to include that at the end of series]

If you are interested in astronomical literature, you are bound to have read NASA reporting there is no evidence of water existence hence there are no possibility of life on certain planet. It is fact that oxygen is life supporting element but the water, an important chemical formed from oxygen, is the one from which life is originated.

The geographical situations and human population in the India are such that people are bound to live even in very remote areas in adverse life supporting conditions. Even in the pre independence era Indians were facing problem with the availability of drinking water and bound to travel daily a lot for it. The places and houses of Rajasthan with water storage facilities are the illustration for the scarcity of this life liquid.

The natural resources of drinking water are the rivers etc. with flowing water on the surface and Wells for the underground water. If you ever had cover the distance between the Indira Gandhi International air port and Delhi city, you surely noted an almost deserted forest land of about 4 km length and in this belt one or other woman handling the hand pump to fill her bucket with the water.

India is with large geographical part with sandy, stony and mountain based surface [almost 70% of earth surface in India land is hard in nature and non suitable for digging the traditional wells to use the under ground water for the purpose of drinking] and making the sufficient and adequate availability of drinking water in these areas was a unsolved problem.

In the early years of decade of 50’s it was estimated that more than 1,50,000 Indian village are facing the problem of ample availability of drinking water but as the nation was in the process of rebuilding and facing the problems create from the migration of considerable large population hence much efforts were not taken at the government levels. It was only in the mid of 70’s [as I recall some time from 1974 to 1976] that government become active for this problem and with the help of UNISEF and World Health Organization implemented plan of Hand Pumps [India mark -2 water pumps] at the village level.

These Hand pump tube wells proved a great success and drinking water problem seems to get uprooted but huge number and long period use of these have started to reflect in the adverse format, after almost 25 years. The under ground level started to go on decline, the water, which was available at 30 feet below the surface become unable even at the depth of 70 feet, beside that fertility of surrounding soil got affected adversely and crop productions were reduced in these area.

How worst this problem of drinking water is for the Indians is, to measure this we have to look at the market of packed drinking water, the recent trend of Indian cities and elite population. In the present times I am not surprise to know that during a marriage celebration or business meet expense bill of drinking water goes higher than bill of cocktails.

Entire world is facing the problem related to shortage of drinking water but tough geographical conditions and huge population of India are making this problem more sounding. Surely beside the educating the people about the importance of drinking water, introduction of new technologies for the use of flowing water of rivers is the need of hour for the country.

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