Real test will be in summer next year

Real test will be in summer next year

Residents right now can’t tell how it is going to be after water supply distribution is privatised .

There has been no change in the situation so far. But we hope for better days,” says Chirmi Gupta, a teacher from Vasant Kunj, Block E2. She says they get water twice a day for two hours each.

Now, water distribution has been privatised under a public-private partnership (PPP) model in three areas — Vasant Kunj and Malviya Nagar in south district, and Nangloi in west Delhi.

Meenal Kapoor, Gupta’s neighbour, says the real test will be in summer. “We will know whether the new system has made a difference in May and June next year. We had faced a lot of water problems this year. We were completely dependent on tankers that gave us bad quality water at a high rate,” says Kapoor.

The situation in Malviya Nagar was no better, and a major woe residents faced was irregular supply. Residents started facing the heat of water shortage as early as April, and they did not get enough water to even perform daily chores. The water supply timings were also erratic.

“These seemed like tactics by the government to ensure less consumption,” says a resident. Another resident says it becomes catastrophic if there is a wedding or a similar big occasion.

“My neighbour’s son was getting married in June, and they spent over Rs 15,000 on water alone in just a few days. They had money and could afford it, but for a majority of people nowadays, even marriages are decided according to water supply,” says Ram Babu, a resident of Malviya Nagar.

However, the situation has improved in the last one month. “Water supply has improved since rains started. But the overall situation has been perennially bad for several years every summer,” says Anuj Kumar, who runs an eatery and lives in a rented house in Malviya Nagar.

He says his wife, who worked as a domestic help, had to leave work to stay at home and manage water issues.

“My wife stayed at home because there was no fixed timing for the tanker to come. We had to ration water between cooking, bathing and washing utensils. Sometimes, we did not take bath for two days,” adds Kumar.

“The experiment has been started in rich areas first. Efficiency will be checked when the PPP model is applied in slum clusters,” says a resident of Shivalik, a posh locality in Malviya Nagar.

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