The Chief Minister Mr. Gegong Apang, observed that the future war will be fought for water. I ponder hard over its possibility and I came to conclusion that it seems probable. I have a feel that this war will not be fought amongst nation, but amongst states and within state. The neighbour will turn against neighbour, the poor against rich and the plebian against government-in the name of water. Take Narmada and Cauvery river for instance, these two rivers are the source of disgruntlement in the western and southern
And the government recent move to hike the water tariff in the state are viewed as an agent to cull money from public to cover up the mismanagement of fund. I had to agree as the hike in water tariff left me totally gobsmacked. The tariff is absolutely immoderate and to large extent, it could induce inflation. The restaurateurs will have no option but to increase the cost of its product. So are the barber and other entities. Considering the quality and quantity of water supplied by PHED (Public Health Engineering Department) in Ziro particularly-the tariff looks more like a legitimate extortion. I am not averse to tax or revenue collection as long as the capitals generated from payers is utilized to improve the infrastructure or development of infrastructure. But the stories tell us something else. Let me cite some of the several instances. For starters, it is deemed that the PHED supplies water for two hours, twice a day but we never get running water for more than ten minutes. Second, on a rainy day, the undrinkable water becomes more undrinkable as the mud with leeches and earthworms are sure to flow in with water. And sometimes, a grain of cooked rice too. On numerous occasions, I even found a wisp of human hair which seldom leads to misunderstanding and quarrel at home with the women folk for being careless in making their tresses. The PHED do not even bother to filter the water, let alone, the treatment of water. Sometimes, I fancy that the people of Ziro are dying all of a sudden as some miscreant had poured a bottle of poison in the water tank. And it’s frightening and feasible too.
The talk that new tank is being built in Ziro and going to operate it soon and the scarcity of water will no longer haunt the people of Ziro and so on-has almost become rhetoric. I wonder how long it will take to materialize. Even if the dream project realized at scheduled time, there’s a prospect we will be hit hard by the expenses again-the expense we bear or incur on procurement of pipe and appurtenances. Besides the expenditure, the road has to be dug to lay the pipe which means another bout with PWD officials. I cannot comprehend why the PHED would not install a pipe that carries water on both side of the road. And I’m not ready to subscribe to the notion that there is a shortage of pipes as I have often seen the Puja Pandal being built with water pipes. If PHED agrees to set water on both sides of the road, it would not only prevent the people from digging up the road which adds up to the numerous potholes that lay strewn in the road but an easy access to water connection also-thus, more revenue for the government.
In reference to the revenue; unlike our state, the metros like
The government needs to bear the common and poor people in their mind before they formulate policy to generate public revenue. And if the government and bureaucrat at the top echelon cannot provide job and equal opportunity to all without any bias, then their expectation to generate fund from common people is absolutely invalid. And the threat of war will hover as long as the people are made to pay exorbitant price for basic and essential items. Until then, people’s effort is required to take a pre-emptive action to tap the rain water in order to shun war, save money and bureaucratic hassle.
-Contributed by Roto Chobin, Editor of the fortnightly ZIRO MIRROR, published from Ziro. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org