July 15, 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
Residents of historic Panama neighborhood fight gentrification

By Maria M.Mur.

National health alert in Philippines after over 450 dengue deaths

Manila, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Philippines on Monday declared a national alert due to a dengue outbreak, with over 106,630 cases recorded in the first half of...

San Juan Parangaricutiro, Mexico's Pompeii buried by Paricutin volcano

By Manuel Soberanes Cobo

The Japanese island in the heart of South America

By Gina Baldivieso

More and more reports of sexual abuse against minors in Panama

By Ana de Leon

Protesters in US urge end to migrant detention centers

By Laura Barros

US lawmakers spotlight conditions for migrant kids detained on the border

Washington, Jul 12 (efe-epa).- With fear of the guards, feeling ill, with little sleep and no soap in sight, so the hours go by for thousands of children...

Japanese government apologizes for discriminating against lepers for decades

Tokyo, Jul 12 (efe-epa).- The prime minister of Japan on Friday apologized to leprosy patients and their families who suffered discrimination and isolation...

Trump gives up on adding citizenship question to 2020 Census

Washington, Jul 11 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday abandoned his bid to have a question about citizenship added to the 2020 US Census,...

Pelosi says Trump is terrorizing immigrants with threat of raids

Washington, Jul 11 (efe-epa).- The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said Thursday that President Donald Trump's threats to round-up...

Maradona's childhood streets plagued by poverty and violence

By Rodrigo García

Pakistan’s Little Professor captivates crowds with motivational speeches

By Jaime Leon

Study: World's major cities to experience dramatic warming by 2050

Washington DC, Jul 10 (efe-epa).- Around 77 percent of the world's major cities will have experienced dramatic warming by 2050 and have conditions similar...

China’s elite academy grooms future leaders with lectures on Xi's principles

By Javier Garcia

Japan records steepest population decline in last 50 years

Tokyo, Jul 10 (efe-epa).- Japan in 2018 recorded its steepest population decline since 1968 with a record drop of 433,239, according to the figures released...

At least 63 'Muslims' arrested while trying to flee Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar, Jul 10 (efe-epa).- Myanmar authorities have detained 63 “Muslims,” which may include Rohingyas, after the boat they were on stranded while...

China’s elite academy grooms future leaders with lectures on Xi's principles

By Javier Garcia

Embarrassing forced haircuts at Afghan schools become a thing of the past

By Baber Khan Sahel

United Nations, Jul 9 (efe-epa).- The world's governments are showing a lack of ambition in pursuing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),...

Undocumented farmworkers in Florida fear massive roundups

By Antoni Belchi

Olafur Elliason's sublime installations plunge viewer into wondrous world

London, Jul 9 (efe-epa).- Conceptual artist Olafur Eliasson once transformed the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall into an awe-inspiring space with his floating,...

Water mafia thrives as India faces growing water crisis

By Mikaela Viqueira

Trump touts his record on the environment

Lucia Leal.

Ecuador's Life Raft of the Frogs blends research, conservation

By Christian A. Sanchez.

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