PREVIOUS STORIES, 19 March 2016 A story dedicated to the World Water Day - 22 March 2016

Queue and Rush for Drinking Water

Nandita Singh and Om Prakash Singh

 

 

 

Procuring drinking water can be a challenging task for many in India. As many as 53% households in the country do not have a source of drinking water at home. 13.7 million urban households are located in informal colonies, of which more than 43% do not possess individual household water connections. Similarly, of the 168 million rural households, 65% do not possess a drinking water source within domestic premises. All these households have to procure drinking water from outside sources where queue and rush can be a daily routine. In rural areas, while traditional public sources like wells, springs and ponds, and even handpumps may not be a problem due to round-the-clock water availability, collecting water from public standpoints, which can be based on ground- or surface water supply, can present challenges. Two most common causes of queue and rush are the limited supply hours and uncertainty of the exact timings. In addition, fewer water points against large number of dependent households, as in many quality affected areas having water treatment plants, can also cause queue and rush. In the informal urban colonies, water is procured from public standpoints or tankers or else from improvised sources such as leakages from larger pipelines passing through the colony. Here, all the above reasons can lead to queue and rush. While queues represent an orderly arrangement based on the principle of ‘first come first serve’, indicating a greater reliability about the quantity of water to be possibly procured and the opportunity of being able to do so, rush is indicative of a high level of uncertainty and unreliability, where the principle of ‘might is right’ prevails and yet at the end one may have to return empty handed. Where water tanker is the only source, uncertainty of the routine, large number of dependent households as well as the limited water quantity contained in the tanker can cause huge rush. This photo story captures moments from the queues and rush at varied public water sources across different states in India. The title photograph is from South-East district, National Capital Territory of Delhi where amidst a huge rush people are collecting water from leakage in a main pipeline that passes across a drain in the settlement. About 49% of the city’s population live in informal colonies, many of whom do not have a water connection at home.

 

 

Queueing up for water collection at a public standpoint in a village near Kolleru Lake in West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh

 

 

A queue at a private tap within a factory premises in Dimapur, Nagaland

 

 

A queue at a water tanker in North-East district, National Capital Territory of Delhi

 

 

Containers queued up in advance for collecting drinking water from a group water connection in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Approximately 55% of the city’s population live in informal settlements, many of whom lack individual household connections

 

 

Queue and rush at a public standpoint in Bengaluru, Karnataka. About 1.4 million people live in informal colonies in the city, many of whom have to depend on public drinking water sources

 

 

Queueing up for drinking water at a leakage from the main pipeline in North-East district, National Capital Territory of Delhi

 

 

Queued up containers being filled turn-by-turn by boatmen at a public standpoint on the waterfront at Mumbai Harbor, Maharashtra

 

 

Men and women lined up at a public standpoint in a village in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh

 

 

Children queued up at a public handpump in Mumbai, Maharashtra

 

 

Rush time at a group water connection in Mumbai, Maharashtra

 

 

Men, women and children collecting water at their turn from a public standpoint in Mumbai, Maharashtra

 

 

Rush at a water tanker in South-East district, National Capital Territory of Delhi

 

 

Rush at a group water connection around 10 o’clock in the night in Mumbai, Maharashtra

 

 

Rush for water at a public standpoint at dawn in Mumbai, Maharashtra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh.
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh
Photo by: Om Prakash Singh