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India

“Clean drinking water a fundamental right”

Lucknow, July 20 (IBNS):  A court in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has taken cognisance of the importance of water and pulled the authorities for failing to provide the people with clean drinking water.

The court said the government could not take the excuse of budget for ensuring a basic necessity like water.

The High Court in Lucknow – the capital of Uttar Pradesh – has demanded the government authorities to specify what all measures have been taken by them
to ensure continuous supply of clean drinking water. The government has to submit its report on August 1.

The directives came after a petition was filed by a local resident who alleged that his locality was facing acute water problem.

“There is no arrangement for the supply of clean drinking water. In spite of meeting the local authorities concerned and pleading the issue, no action was taken in this regard, and therefore this petition,” said the petitioner in his application.

Before filing his application in the court, the petitioner had gathered all related information from the government by using Right to Information (RTI)
Act.

The information he received mentioned that under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Rejuvenation Mission – a centrally funded scheme for improving the infrastructure in the cities – it is planned to construct seven tube wells, an overhead water tank and an underground water storage tank.

However, the construction work is yet to start.

The Jal Nigam (the government agency responsible for infrastructure for water and sewage) authorities told the court that the engineer concerned has been asked to prepare the plan and send the same to the government for the sanction of budget.

Pulling the government officials, the court cited a ruling by Supreme Court, the Apex court of India, which said “It is the moral and ethical responsibility and duty of the government to ensure clean drinking water to people but the government has largely failed to do its duty.’’

The High Court demanding the government to present their action report before the government on August 1, said that the state governments cannot shy away from their duties by blaming it on budget allocations. Alka Pande
India Blooms News Service

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About WashMedia-South Asia

WashMedia-South Asia is a group of South Asian journalists working on water, sanitation and hygiene issues. Theses journalists are from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

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