Saturday, December 12, 2009


Access to safe water is one of the fundamental rights of a citizen living in a civilized world. Drinking water sources are often contaminated and it is the legal responsibility of the civic bodies administering an habitat to clean up the water before distribution through fool proof delivery system. While in India protected water supply is a joke, as none exists qualifying for such a description, spawning a multi crore bottled water industry at the expense of the hapless citizen. One would have thought that in a rich country like the US, the citizens should be much better off than their counterparts in developing countries. It is not so is borne out by the recent revelations about the situation prevalent in that country.

"That law requires communities to deliver safe tap water to local residents. But since 2004, the water provided to more than 49 million people has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or radioactive substances like uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage. Regulators were informed of each of those violations as they occurred. But regulatory records show that fewer than 6 percent of the water systems that broke the law were ever fined or punished by state or federal officials, including those at the Environmental Protection Agency, which has ultimate responsibility for enforcing standards. Studies indicate that drinking water contaminants are linked to millions of instances of illness within the United States each year".

It is true that the water supply system in the US is so gigantic that it covers 54700 schemes across the nation under the control of local authorities with safety monitoring being the responsibility of the federal agencies. But water being a causative factor in millions of illnesses every year it is scandalous to see such a situation existing for years and being a rich country financial resources might not be the constraint for overcome the grim reality. Probably, with such a dismal record of the local execution authorities, the BPO model may have to come to the rescue of water management in the US in the coming years! Is India ready? With a dismal record to boast of in the domestic scene, India does not have any credibility to offer such services in designing and implementing safe water projects at international level.


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