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Categories: - Students' Voice for Sustainability

Delhi and it's Water Problem

Delhi and it's Water Problem
Content by: Lipi Bag, Blog Team-TOHRI
Edited by: Vidusshi Pathak, Intern-TOHRI

Watching Vinay Shukla's the Insignificant Man, a socio political documentary on Arvind Kejriwal Arnav came across a lot of details regarding the water problems in Delhi. One of the major predicament, apart from the water crisis in Delhi is the access to clean regular water to people across the state. He could recall an article by a journalist about the Indian problem of sanitation and water supply. In the end of his analysis, the journalist proposed that all those who are to pass water and don't find a toilet around ought to book a cab and pass water on the municipality's wall. To say, that one day it's washed away in the excretory flood! "I'm about to get bald because of the water quality", Arnav thought to himself.

India's capital city is expected to deliver the best form of governance. In contrast to that, the situation is getting worse. As a research fellow for Social Work, Arnav was to make a documentary on the water conditions of Delhi. Browsing through the internet, Arnav noted as a matter of regret that the Capital city had been dependpent on its nearby towns for the supply of water because of the Yamuna being in its worst condition, and the broken pipelines that the government has sworn never to repair. Travelling via the blue line of the metro, Arnav noticed the algae floating across the river. He couldn't believe what he had been coming across as a work of research daily. He was flabbergasted to think of his health when he saw those unhygienic conditions around him. Whilst he was weaving his documentary, he gave a voice over narration to the video, "No wonder when you visit the Yamuna Bank for perhaps flaunting your photography skills, you can watch people using the same water for bathing, sanitation and food. Alarmingly, reports confirm that the water level in the Yamuna in Delhi has crossed the warning level due to discharge of water from a barrage in Haryana. As a matter of fact, untreated treated effluents are also discharged into the river through the numerous city drains. Despite the significant efforts of Yamuna Bacchao Andolan, and other important programmes, the situation isn't improving."

What Arnav also came across through his endeavour was that the Cementing grounds was also a major cause for the depletion of the ground water level. Another concerning factor was that of the water supply agencies. The agencies were facing a lot of problem for the arrangement of raw water from various sources in the vicinity of Delhi. Groundwater levels were depleting fast, falling by significant numbers in some parts of Delhi. There had also been evidence of groundwater contamination and high salinity content in the same.

Through his basic idea of identification, Arnav filmed how the inadequate amount of drinking water caters to a greater dependence on private suppliers and affects the household finance. The film showcased the records of 2016, as per the Wire, of how it is noted that the city's drinking waste water management, estimated total distribution losses around 40%.

Some areas, like Khanpur locality in southeast Delhi, and Sangam Vihar in South Delhi did have protests and slogans against this lack of basic rights. Arnav's documentary with some solutions of plantation, rain water harvesting and less wastage of water, if not anything else, did impress the judges to give him to award of most original piece of work in a film festival.

But deep down in this heart he knew that the real difference would be made if only we take a majora step of water conservation like putting efforts of raising the water tables, and ceasing the industry effluent from being disposed in the rivers. On an individual level what we can really do is plant trees, stop wasting water. Looking at the Yamuna from the last metro over the blue line, Arnav realised that until these steps are taken, the promises by the government appear like a far-fetched dream as the basic amenities in most places seem to lack. In our household, for every bucket of water that we waste, there's a life that is lost.


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