Back in January, when news spread of a ‘water crisis’ in many of Delhi’s localities, fuelled by “dangerously high” levels of ammonia affecting three Delhi Jal Board (DJB) water treatment plants, many of us may have realised the enormity of the term – what scarcity of water may mean. And yet, while many of us – even those with piped connections – may have to deal with water woes ever so often, fighting for water as a matter of daily existence might sound alien for many of our readers.
Yet, January’s water scarcity is a glimpse of what, for many like the residents of JJ Bandhu camp in Vasant Kunj, is a daily reality. Not only do these residents have to walk miles to get water from DJB trucks, twice a day – thus often losing out on work – sometimes they don’t even get water, because of large queues. Often, the water is not clean Politicians make empty promises of piped water connections, but things continue as they are elections after elections. Moreover, the DJB allegedly has a nexus with private water suppliers, who charge exorbitant sums for what should be a fundamental right and don’t even provide clean water.
For many people, Delhi’s water crisis is very real – and has been for quite some time.