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Expansion of coverage of safe drinking water needed: PHDCCI

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 22 (UNI) PHDCCI President Sushma Berlia today said there was a crying need to expand the coverage of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to the vast majority of the population.

Speaking on the occasion of World Water Day today, Mrs Berlia said the increase in the level of water pollution, contamination of drinking water sources and the concomitant increase in the incidence of water-borne diseases call for a public policy to address the issues concerning water quality.

Access to safe drinking water is being treated as a human right in most countries, and thus it is important to understand the health implications of access (or lack of) to water supply and sanitation facilities, a PHDCCI release said.

The goal is to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities by the year 2015. Around the world, one out of five persons does not have access to safe water supply.

More than one billion people in developing countries lack access to safe water supply and 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, the release added.

''But addressing these problems requires better allocation of water, appropriate pricing and private sector provisioning if necessary through public-private partnerships,'' Mrs Berlia added.

''Pointless debates continue about privatisation of Delhi Jal Board. Yet, for poor people in slums, there is no municipal water supply and private water tankers are the only source. In India, given the growing number of urban slum-dwellers, and remote and distant villages, ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation facilities is a daunting task. These scarcities often affect women the most,'' she pointed out.

UNI ARB SD BST1726

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