Employment in time of water scarcity | india | Hindustan Times
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Employment in time of water scarcity

CONTAMINATED WATER supply and scarcity of potable water in the city have opened new avenues for self- employment. More and more people are availing the newly created employment opportunities to support their families. The new employment sector is related to collection of pure drinking water and its supply to offices commercial establishments. In some cases, water is supplied to private houses where municipal water is not available.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 00:50 IST

CONTAMINATED WATER supply and scarcity of potable water in the city have opened new avenues for self- employment. More and more people are availing the newly created employment opportunities to support their families.

The new employment sector is related to collection of pure drinking water and its supply to offices commercial establishments. In some cases, water is supplied to private houses where municipal water is not available.

Since it has not been covered under any industrial law, the census of these units cannot officially be done. However, according to a rough estimate, there are over fifty such units active in the city catering to the thirsty people every day. Each unit is managed by an individual entrepreneur or by two or three partners. Setting up of these units requires a few big water containers for storing the underground water or purified municipal water. For supplying the water a riksha-cart and water jugs are needed. A complete unit with water containers, riksha and water jugs can be set up with a minimum investment of Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000. These units neither require power nor diesel engines.

Units are pollution free and can be set up in residential areas in a small room. So far, these units are not described as “commercial” and no extra house tax is charged from the house owner who allows water trade.

Ramesh Gupta did B Sc three years ago but could not get placement. His financial position was not very sound to continue studies or start any business.

However, he came to know from his friend working in a business office situated on the third floor of the building that they were facing water scarcity, as there was no hand pump nearby from where drinking water could be collected.

“Their plight gave me an idea. Why not supply water regularly to the office on payment. I discussed the matter with the office staff. The management agreed and I was given order for supplying at least thirty litres of water everyday.

Gradually, I took it as a regular business and now I am supplying water to many offices, homes and restaurants,” he added.

The demand for water rises in summer as power cut does not allow the Jal Sansthan to ensure water supply in each locality. Besides, water level of hand pumps also goes down and the Jal Sansthan cannot provide water tankers to cater to the needs of the people. Consequently, the middle and upper class families bank upon the services of these private water suppliers.