Water availability and ease of access to water are necessary elements of our lives. The urban dwellers residing in apartments or abode having water storage facilities are not entirely dependent on the hours of water supply from the Municipality. However, the slums dwellers are. The vulnerability and limited access to clean and continuous water critically impact their lives each day.
With the uncertainty in the availability of water in most slum households, at least one member has to miss earning wages for making water available to the family. These households either get water from the public stand posts at erratic hours or they have to fetch it from long distances or have to rely on tankers to get sufficient water to meet their family needs. These ways of sourcing water compromise the water quality as evident from the number of people, especially children who suffer frequently from water
Such challenges seem to be a story of the past in Nagpur, thanks to the implementation of 24 x 7 water supply project for the entire city of Nagpur. One of the important objectives of the project is providing access to potable water to the urban poor at their doorstep.
With this 24×7 water supply project, each household in the slum areas is provided with a tap that delivers safe, sufficient and quality water at assured hours and at subsidized tariff, thus facilitating access of water to all. Also, owing to the quality of water, the risk of exposure to water-borne diseases has reduced considerably. This is certainly a life-changing experience for the people living in slums.
Prakash Nagdeve of Rambagh slum says, “With assured supply, all the adults of my family can go out and work. This has resulted in increased family income. The medical expenses have reduced too. Also, the children of the house no more miss their school
for water and can now focus on their studies.” When asked about the water charges, he said, “in return for the advantages mentioned, paying water bill is hardly an issue for my family and on top of that NMC has been kind enough to provide subsidised
water to people living in slums”
Water Works Committee Chairman Sh. Vijay Zalke said, “The 24×7 Project was designed with the focus on the slum dwellers. We are committed to providing quality water at assured hours to all the households in the slums. This has and will continue to bring
positive changes in their lives.”
Acknowledgment by the public as well as authorities substantiates the impact that 24×7 water supply has on the lives of people and how access to water for all is a necessity that is realised with the implementation of this project.