Countries fought, states became hostile, people turned enemies – all for Ek boondh Paani Ki liye. How in the world could AAP, the 2 days old government whose ministers have no experience whatsoever, managed to give 900 liters of water for free. The way they did this is very complicated and involved lot of number crunching, breaking down complex algorithms, a multi man year collaboration of scientific efforts, analysis, studies & research. Basically what AAP did was rocket science and so very hard to comprehend
Rocket Science behind AAP’s free water policy
As per the Delhi Jal Board 2013 data
Total number of connections: 17 lakh odd domestic connections
9 lakh use upto 20,000 liters per month
The very scientific calculations calculated as per 2013 tariff
For 700 litres per day per connection water free, the cost had been calculated as Rs. 370.1 crore with exemption for sewer charges.
Up to 1000 litres per day per connection consumption, the bill was roughly 200 crore
for more than 1000 litre per day per connection consumption, the bill was roughly Rs. 300 crore.
So bottom line is after giving the water for free for the 9 lakh consumers who consume less than 20k liters a month, Delhi Jal Board will have 130 crores left
1) at the moment only those consumers who have the meters will be eligible for the free water scheme
2) the economics of this will be revisited after 3 months
Other benefits of this program: There could be others, but these are the very obvious ones. No need to research or no need for any scientific data to prove this
1) Standardizing water distributions: if one has to avail the free water, one has to get the water meter installed, so in a way people will be forced to. Does this mean this will not result in malpractices, cheating, tampering with the meter reading etc. absolutely. But given the zero tolerance towards corruption attitude with which AAP is working, be it the neta or the aam aadmi both could be measured with the same yard stick.
Also the toll free number to report corruption will come in handy in ensuring a fair deal for everyone.
2) Controlling water usage: since there is incentive for consuming less water, people might pay close attention to how much they actually need and how much they actually spend
Why should anything be free?
If one has to compete in this cut throat competitive world, one needs to have a level playing field and have access to opportunities just like any average middle class person has. This can only happen when one need not worry about the basic amenities so one can put in the effort where it’s required. No effort should be spent in walking miles or waiting hours for safe drinking water and if this is made available free of cost, where one earns only a few thousand rupees, this will indeed be a game changer.
So the system doesn’t have any loopholes or other pit falls:
It could, the onus is on us to ensure that it’s corrected if it’s wrong, it’s reported if it’s illegal, it’s punished if it’s guilty. One good thing about this program is that right from the get go, it’s transparent. AAP has shown the simple economics behind this decision and as time progresses, the real numbers can be compared to the predicted numbers and take this forward. This is unlike other govt programs where things operate in complete vacuum and sometimes even an RTI activist finds it hard to dig through the information, even when it’s provided.
Criticism is must, so let there be, for it allows one to introspect and correct if need be. Likewise humility is also a must, so where things go as per the plan, one should humbly acknowledge it and accept it.
I’m no expert and I might have over simplified things, but I didn’t find any reason to complicate it either 🙂