Usually, summer comes bearing bad news as far as water scarcity and shortage is concerned. The news of water shortage in areas, taps/tanks leaking and wasting valuable water, water contamination, etc. increases as the scarcity increases and the summer heat takes over. Usually, the government appointed local municipal bodies brace themselves for this, and are hard at work solving these issues. The various departments concerned with this sector make sure they help out as many as they can.
But with the lockdown in place now to curb the spread of Covid-19, this has become a hassle. And it is two-fold. And that is scarier.
With the lockdown enforcing work from home and restrictions around movement for thousands of people, the water issues this summer threatens to get graver by the minute. Take, for example, the Delhi Jal Board, whose over 3,639 working officials have been sent to work from home. In ordinary times, that force would be fully active in resolving water related issues across Delhi. The same goes for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and others. This gap in working officials is proving costly when it comes to providing the basic help that many municipalities would require.
The same goes for the entire team of officials who did some wonderful work last year under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. The goal of providing each house with access to clean drinking water by 2025 has received a huge shock this year as all these officials haven’t been able to perform necessary tasks.
Add to that the pandemic and its urgent and primary need to wash hands at all times. The amount of water being used has doubled, and the work force that could help balance it out has been halved. We are not even talking about the economic repercussions of the lockdown, and we need to wait and see whether these initiatives and projects continue to receive the same level of funding this year, or even in the near future.
This extensive water demand based pandemic, along with the lockdown restrictions, will leave a major dent in the progress we have made till now. The doings of many major initiatives, such as Harpic News18 Mission Paani should not go in vain, and we need to help out in as many ways we can.