Story | Centre for Science and Environment

Story


Grains of Despair: Sand mining in India

In June 2011, Swami Nigamananda Saraswati died after a four month fast in protest of sand mining on the banks of Ganga.   His death is a warning. If reckless sand mining continues, the Ganga and the people whose lives and livelihoods are fueled by it will face serious consequences. (See Down To Earth article, A swami and sand mafia, http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/swami-and-sand-mafia)

Make money while the water lasts

In this issue of the newsletter, the second part of the PPP story looks at small informal water service providers, taking the example of Delhi. More than 50% of the population of Delhi is actually served by these informal water service providers. Although the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is mandated to supply water to the poor living in unauthorised colonies, JJ clusters, resettlement colonies and urban and rural villages, the reality is that people living in these non-planned areas pay more than 750 times of what DJB charges the well-off living in planned colonies.

Are PPPs here to stay

The first part of this article focussed on the recent initiatives by the government to involve big and established private players for municipal water supply. The argument behind the privatisation moves is that private players need to be brought in to recover costs and bring in  improved efficiency and service in urban water supply.

Qanats, Surangams

Qanats and surangams are examples of water accessing systems which have similar technologies. Qanat technology originated in Iran and was used extensively in the dry, arid desert regions of the Middle East and surangam technologyis used in the hilly terrains of the Western Ghats. Both systems essentially consist of underground tunnels that source the aquifer and use gravity to convey the water to groundlevel.

Water for the Nag along

Nag village, in Gangolihat block of Pithoragarh district quenched its thirst by capturing the rain water that is plentiful, but only during the monsoons. While the state is struggling to source water from drying rivers and ground water, the citizens of  Upper Naag (Malla Naag), found themselves better off by capturing the rain that falls on their village area.

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