FREE-WATER joints or “piyaoos” in the city are the only source for providing water to thirsty people who toil from morning to night to earn their livelihood. Though there are several joints selling cold drinks and mineral water, these sophisticated drinks are beyond the reach of the common man.
Though it is the duty of the Kanpur Municipal Corporation (KMC) to put up street-side water taps to facilitate the people, for some reasons it seems to have relinquished the job of quenching the thirst of the poor men living in the city limits.
Thousands of people from rural areas and neighbouring districts come to this city every day in pursuit of their business by train or bus. But the facility of tap water is lacking at the bus stand as well as at the railway station. Often the water taps on the railway platforms go dry and the train passengers face water scarcity.
The bus stand has only one tap which is inadequate to cater to the needs of a large number of bus passengers. Consequently, after reaching the city, the passengers frantically search for a water tap to quench their thirst.
Had ‘paushalas’ not been set up by philanthropists along the roads and outside their houses in isolated localities, the thirsty lot of passengers and commuters might have been in great difficulty and they would have had to pay handsomely for a glass of water.
There are water-stalls which sell highly contaminated water at Re 1 per glass.
But the majority of daily commuters find it safe and economical to enjoy the water supplied free of cost by the paushalas. At some places affluent persons have kept big earthen pots on the roadsides . These offer self-service.
Thirsty men can take out the water to drink. The popular paushala system is likely to become even more popular in view of the growing water crisis in the city.