Maharashtra activist moots ‘Right To Water’ to address water shortages

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Mumbai: As a severe drought hits many parts of Maharashtra and India, a BJP leader has called for a need to enact a ‘Right To Water Act’, on the lines of Right To Information Act or Right To Education Act.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state secretary Sanjay Pandey said that with serious water shortages at the height of summer now, people are grappling with the issue of solutions to the water crises that seem to be growing manifold every year.

“Water is the very basic for mere survival, perhaps more than RTI or RTE. The question is should all citizens have an equal Right to the available water resources within a state? This must be debated and deliberated seriously if the water problems have to be resolved on a permanent basis,” Pandey told IANS.

India already ranks very low globally on the recommended per capita water availability with a meager around 50 liters daily in rural areas, 135 liters in semi-urban centres and 150 liters in urban centres like Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, and Nagpur, compared to the USA, where it is a whopping 380 liters per day.

“Moreover, most cities depend on rural centres for their water supplies as they lack their own sources like lakes, dams, rivers, which in turn deprives people elsewhere of their own water even as this precious commodity becomes scarcer with growing populations and reducing rainfall,” Pandey said.

He said it is time for people to start thinking on the serious water crisis looming large over Maharashtra and rest of the country as water resources keep depleting owing to various factors, including global warming and changing weather pattern worldwide.

Water is consumed by humans and animals and used heavily for irrigation and industrial purposes, and most of it goes – so to say, down the drain – with very little recycled.

In such a situation Pandey questions whether all citizens should have an equal right to the available water resources within a particular state/region, and ensure equitable distribution so that none is left to ‘thirst’ for water.

To highlight the case, he has launched ‘Mumbai Water Warriors’ to spread awareness about water consumption and conservation for the benefit of the current and future generations.

In a promotional video, MWW explains the importance of water conservation – ‘Ek Bucket Pani Se, Kya Ho Sakta Hai’ (What you can do with a bucket of water) – and how that single bucket saved could translate to huge relief for rural or drought-hit areas in the country.

“The month-long MWW campaign encourages the participation of all people to help conserve water for the benefit of the less-fortunate people in other dry areas. It is having a very good impact,” Pandey said.

The MWW is distributing aerators in select areas which help save upto 70 percent water consumed in homes and prevent massive wastage, the importance of water harvesting and recycling for non-drinking purposes, besides afforestation drives, economical usage of water for all domestic, agriculture, commercial and industrial purposes as a legacy for coming generations.