oppn parties Chennai Goes Dry, Government In Denial

News Snippets

  • Centre sanctions Rs 15000cr for Covid19 emergency response, part of it immediately and the rest over a period of four years in mission mode
  • RBI says Covid-19 has "drastically altered" the growth outlook in India
  • Third coronavirus death in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai
  • Odisha becomes the first state to extend the lockdown until April 30. Schools and colleges in the state to remain closed until June 17th
  • The Supreme Court orders all coronavirus testing, including by private labs, to be done for free, says will look into the matter of reimbursement for private players at a later date
  • Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar proposes an Indo-Pak ODI series to raise funds for fighting coronavirus
  • Maharashtra government says many Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Markaz and returned have gone into hiding
  • West Bengal government identifies hotspots in Kolkata and the rest of the state, inclined to extend the lockdown in those places only
  • Prime Minister Modi holds a video conference with floor leaders of opposition parties, hints at extending the lockdown
  • UP seals hotspots and makes masks mandatory
  • Masks made compulsory in Mumbai, violators will be arrested
  • ICMR says an infected person can infect 406 people in 30 days without social distancing and lockdown
  • Stock markets make a smart recovery. Sensex up by record 2476 points on global cues
  • Schools, colleges and shopping malls likely to remain closed for a further period of one month, says empowered group of ministers
  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
Total Covid-19 cases rise to 5734 on Thursday and the death toll stands at 166, says the health ministry in its daily briefing
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Chennai Goes Dry, Government In Denial

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

When residents of Chennai are forced to search for drinking water, are paying bribes and even spending nights looking for the elusive water tanker, it is disgusting to hear Chief Minister E K Palaniswami say that the reports of the water crisis in the city are exaggerated. Governments choose to be in denial over every crisis leading to ugly consequences. Palaniswami would do well to take corrective long term measures instead of treating the matter as a one-off situation and giving vague replies to searching questions asked by the Madras High Court.

It is true that the severe summer this year has dried up water in the city at an alarming rate. But the fact is that the government has no water management policy in place. Most of Chennai’s water bodies have disappeared (this is common to all Indian cities where land sharks in collusion with corrupt politicians and bureaucrats have been appropriating water bodies). The city had 60 large water bodies before 2000. Only 28 remain now. The city’s water supply has never matched the demand. The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board normally supplies only 830 million litres a day (mld) while the city needs about 1,200 mld. This year, the agency’s water supply dipped to 550 mld, resulting in a severe crisis.

Prime Minister Modi has said that conservation and proper use of water, including the supply of piped water to most Indian cities, would be the focus of his second term. The Centre has put a new Jal Shakti ministry in place. These are positive developments. The Tamil Nadu government must also recognize that Chennai’s woes are not temporary or only due to the severe summer. With no water management policy in place, water shortage is likely to be a permanent issue in Chennai. Hence, the government must initiate measures to fix the problem on a long-term basis. 

Pic courtesy: indian express