Dr KK Aggarwal
Last week, the UP Government issued a circular vide which the Assembly Speaker has directed that only half glass of water should be served in the state secretariat, offices and canteens at first. If needed, more water can be provided. This is to be implemented with immediate effect.
This step has been taken to check wastage of water because it has often been seen that people only take few sips of water when offered and leave the rest of the water in the glass.
India is a land of rivers; yet, ironically, many parts of the country are facing an acute water crisis.
Chennai is in the midst of an acute water crisis as all reservoirs that provide water to the city have dried up following which the city officials declared on June 19, 2019 that "Day Zero", or the day when almost no water is left, had been reached. Water is being transported to the parched city via train.
The city of Cape Town in South Africa, which faced a severe water shortage, has managed to postpone its estimated Day Zero by implementing strict water restrictions and reducing daily water usage by people. This step together with good rains in 2018 has helped the city to gradually tide over the crisis, if not completely end it.
It’s not just Chennai; many cities of India including Delhi are staring at a similar future, which is not very far off.
A NITI Aayog report Composite Water Management Index released in June 2018 says that “India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history and millions of lives and livelihoods are under threat. Currently, 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water”.
“By 2020, 21 major cities, including Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, are expected to reach zero groundwater levels, affecting access for 100 million people”
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.1 has targeted to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by the year 2030. This goal seems elusive for now, till each one of us does our part.
Water is a precious resource and is essential for survival.
This step taken by the UP government is a unique initiative and should be adopted by all.
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India