Right to Adequate, Accessible and Safe Drinking Water in India: A Study of District Moga (Punjab)

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:20
Location: Hörsaal 31 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Namita GUPTA, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India
The human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses. The right to water is also necessary for the enjoyment of others human rights including the right to life and human dignity, the right to health, the right to adequate food, the right to adequate housing, the right to development and the right to a healthy environment. The Supreme Court of India as well as the state high courts in many case laws have interpreted the right to water as a part of right to life under article 21 of the constitution as part of the fundamental rights of the people. Known for its green revolution world over, the state of Punjab has got recent global attention as a ‘cancer state’. The state has an average 90 cancer patients per 0.1 million population - higher than the national average of 80 per 0.1 million population. One of the major reasons for the same is the highly contaminated water. The present study is on District Moga, which  lies in the Malwa region in Punjab where the ground water is found to be contaminated with toxics such as uranium leading to a large number of cancer patients from this region around 136 cancer patients per 0.1 million population. Besides piped water supply services; Reverse Osmosis Systems have been installed by the state government in the problematic villages to provide safe drinking water to the people in this region. The present study analyzes the issue of adequacy, accessibility, acceptability and safety of the drinking water services (piped water supply and RO supply services) in District Moga.