Thursday, July 17

Socha kya tha, kya ho gaya

If I'd started a blog on social or infrastructural issues plaguing this country, there would have been more than enough posts to write. But I generally avoid it because I don't want to criticize anything or anyone without offering a concrete, plausible solution to the problem.

However, I have to ask - What's the deal with rainwater harvesting? Or, more accurately, the lack of it? Bombay is inundated with rain every year. The city's population is rising like a rocket. I'm reasonably confident the dams supplying water to the city aren't upgrading nearly as fast as the number of people. It's not like rainwater harvesting is some magical new technology that visiting aliens have gifted us; the Wikipedia article on it says that our ancient countrymen practiced it. Madras has successfully implemented it some years ago and other states have held it up as a model way of implementing the system. Heck, even Bangladesh has had some success with it. So when and why did the wheels come off the Bombay bus?

If half the rainwater we've received over the past week was channeled and saved properly, we may not face such a water crisis. Or perhaps, a crisis at all. I know it isn't easy (I don't know much about the technical aspects of it) but if the ancients could do it, why can't the city fathers? Yet, what I read today is that the BMC has possibly wasted Rs. 350 crores on rainwater harvesting, with none of the equipment or systems functional as of yesterday. What a jolly situation.

Meanwhile, Pune is already in the throes of a water crisis, which isn't a shocker considering the feeble rains we've received over the last month. But we did receive good rains last year, so why isn't there a proper system in that city? Again, no one knows and the frantic buck-passing by the chaps in charge suggests they exhibited a higher than normal talent for the game of Passing the Parcel in their youth. It's all very well to say that new building societies in Pune have to compulsorily incorporate rainwater harvesting, but what about the rest of us? And who is making sure these new societies are implementing this rule correctly? Talk to the hand.

The place I live in Bombay falls under the protective aegis of some local hot-shot politico, so water is pretty much assured for the residents in the area, but heaven only knows what other people have to put up with. It's probably a cliche, but we really are drowning in ineptitude, wouldn't you say? Perhaps this is something the new government can fix.

Song for the moment: Drops of Jupiter - Train   

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