July 21, 2019
Latest News

Water mafia thrives as India faces growing water crisis

By Mikaela Viqueira

New Delhi, Jul 9 (efe-epa).- An illegal network of water traffickers is taking advantage of the shortcomings of the government supply system in the most impoverished neighborhoods of India to establish a black market.

The criminals have been selling the precious commodity at steep prices during a scorching summer that has seen temperatures climb up to 50º C (122 F) in some places.

"The water mafia does not allow the (water supply) process to be competed," Dinesh Yadav, a member of the Delhi Jal Board – the public agency responsible for supplying water to the more than 16-million residents of New Delhi – told EFE.

In areas such as Sangam Vihar – a neighborhood in the south of New Delhi – residents depend on private water tankers to fulfill their needs, with the operators charging between 20-50 rupees ($0.3-$0.7) per bucket.

This constitutes a huge expense, as around 60 percent of the Indian population earns less than $3.2 per day, according to a female resident who talked to EFE.

"Many people have left this place because of this problem, but those who cannot leave have to face with this every day," the woman said, on condition of anonymity, while washing dishes on the street.

Things are not so different in the rest of the country, which is facing one of the biggest water crisis in its history: around 75 percent of all households lack access to drinking water on their premises, while 84 percent of rural households do not have access to piped water supply, according to official data.

Around 600 million people – nearly half of the Indian population – face extreme water shortage across India, the country ranked third from the bottom in water quality worldwide. Around 70 percent of its water resources have been found to be polluted.

Thus, thousands of neighborhoods across the country face a shortage of water and depend on tankers that arrive in the areas to fulfill a basic need.

This is where the mafias step in, charging unfair prices.

"(Water tanker suppliers) take water from nearby groundwater reserves" to sell them at a much higher price in irregular settlements in cities, according to Himanshu Thakkar, the coordinator of the nonprofit South Asian Network on Dams Rivers and People.

The water mafias have managed to establish a monopoly used for "distributing and overexploiting resources," Madhulika Chaudhary, a member of the environmental NGO Dhruvansh, based in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, told EFE.

She added that the traffickers were well acquainted with the area and had links with local politicians.

The massive population boom in India, where the number of inhabitants has more than doubled in the last 50 years and reached around 1.3 billion, has also contributed to the rise of the black market in areas which do not have access to supply or pipelines connecting them to a water source, Suresh Chandra Rai, a professor of geography in the Delhi University, told EFE.

The crisis has taken ominous overtones as the "population is increasing and the level of groundwater is decreasing," said the professor.

Rai added that the only way to resolve the crisis and ending the mafia's hold over people was to adopt rainwater harvesting technologies in both big and small towns apart from the government making an action-plan to check deforestation. EFE-EPA


News history
British Airways suspends all flights to Cairo, citing security concerns

London, Jul 20 (efe-epa).- British Airways said Saturday that it has suspended all flights to Egypt's capital for seven days, citing unspecified security...

Kenya inaugurates Africa's largest wind farm

Loiyangalani, Kenya, Jul 19 (efe-epa).-Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday inaugurated Africa's largest wind farm, a 310-MW power station located in a...

Japan, South Korea trade fresh barbs over export curbs

Seoul, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- South Korea on Friday said Japan’s curbs on exports of high-tech materials critical for manufacturing of memory chips was in...

Trump nominates Eugene Scalia to replace scandal-ridden labor secretary

Washington DC, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Thursday nominated a right-wing corporate lawyer to be the new secretary of labor...

Microsoft's cloud business drives record sales

By Asa Fitch and Dan Gallagher

China reaffirms zero tolerance to corruption in New Silk Roads initiative

Beijing, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- China’s top anti-graft watchdog on Thursday reaffirmed its pledge of zero tolerance to corrupt practices in the country’s...

KLM diktat to cover up while breastfeeding in flights causes global outrage

The Hague, Netherlands, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- Dutch airline KLM is facing a storm of criticism for asking mothers to cover up while breastfeeding their babies...

Australian MasterChef star fined for underpaying his employees

Sydney, Australia, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- A high-profile chef who serves as a judge on the Australian version of the popular television show MasterChef and is...

Japan's trade surplus fell by 19 percent in June

Tokyo, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- Japan recorded a trade surplus of 589.5 billion yen ($5.5 billion) in June, a figure that is 19 percent lower than the one...

US-China trade war threatens economic growth in LatAm

Guayaquil, Ecuador, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- The already flagging economies of Latin America could be hurt by the ongoing trade war between the United States and...

Japan's curbs can damage global tech industry, South Korea says

Seoul, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- South Korea on Wednesday said Japan’s curbs on exports of high-tech materials critical for manufacturing of memory chips could...

Amazon faces EU antitrust probe for third-party retailer data use

Brussels, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- The European Commission on Wednesday opened a formal investigation into US tech giant Amazon to see whether its use of...

Paraguay taxi drivers again at war with Uber

Asuncion, Jul 16 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of taxi drivers suspended their service this Tuesday to again drive through the streets of Asuncion with a long...

Mercosur seeks to build on EU trade deal with new agreements

Santa Fe, Argentina, Jul 16 (efe-epa).- South American economic bloc Mercosur is seeking to build on a trade agreement reached with the European Union and...

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Washington DC, USA, Jul 16 (efe-epa).- Social media behemoth Facebook will not offer its Libra cryptocurrency services until it had been proven to meet the...

737 MAX woes hobble budget carrier Ryanair

By Oliver Griffin

Energy company says faulty cable was behind power outage in New York

New York City, USA, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- United States energy company Con Edison, which is responsible for the power outage that affected over 73,000...

Mercosur looking to expedite enactment of pact with EU

Santa Fe, Argentina, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Officials from Mercosur member-states Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay said here Monday that they will urge...

Billionaire Buffett's real estate unit joins forces with Spain's LARVIA

New York, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the real estate unit of billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. conglomerate,...

Trump says tariffs taking a toll on China's economy

Washington, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Monday that the tariffs imposed by his administration were taking a toll on China's economy,...

Huawei plans layoffs in US as blacklisting takes a toll

By Dan Strumpf

South Korea, Israel to push for early FTA deal

Seoul, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- The leaders of South Korea and Israel on Monday agreed to accelerate negotiations to reach a free trade agreement.

China's GDP grew 6.3 percent in 1st half of 2019, 27-year low in 2nd quarter

Beijing, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- China's gross domestic product grew by 6.3 percent during the first half of 2019, 0.5 percentage points less than in the same...

Former FARC rebels turn to coffee growing in Colombia

By Claudia Polanco Yermanos

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.