AAP's free water policy may end up in lot of wastage: RK Pachauri

Posted By: PTI
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New Delhi, Feb 9: The AAP government's policies on water and electricity are well intended but not the best way to achieve desired goals as supply of over 600 litres of free water to Delhi residents may end up in a lot of wastage, Directer General TERI R K Pachauri has warned.

"The intentions are very good but I am not sure this is the best way of going about it. In the case of water and even electricity firstly you have got to look at the whole economics of water supply and power supply," he told PTI in an interview here when asked about Aam Aadmi Party government's policies on water and electricity.

"You also need to make sure you bring about improvements in the system so that wastages and leakages are stopped and that the efficiency of water for instance at every stage is improved. Now, if you are going to supply something for free where is the incentive to use it efficiently," he said. Pachauri, who has been serving as the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002, reasoned that if people are given 600 or 700 litres of water free of cost how can they be expected to use it efficiently.

The intentions are good but the way may not be the best, said Pachauri

"That is a very basic aspect of economics. People have to realise the scarcity of something they are consuming to be able to use it efficiently. I have said this before, I am sorry I fully respect and commend the intentions but I am not too sure whether these are the best means to bring about what they want to do," Pachauri said of AAP's policies.

Within 48 hours of coming to power, the Arvind Kejriwal- led government on January 30 delivered on its promise supplying free water of 667 litres a day to each household but tempered it with a 10 per cent across-the-board hike in tariff.

"When you talk of water supply its not merely water that has to be supplied in quantity but it also has to be up to a certain level of quality and why is it that a city like Delhi has to rely on bottled water. We should be able to get portable water that we can drink without any fear directly from the tap," the head of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) said. Pachauri hoped the present Delhi government and those that follow will make sure improvement is brought about in water quality so that people do not have to buy plastic which only add to pollution and are really beyond the reach of the poorest of the poor.

Asked about recent reports which claimed that Delhi was the most polluted city in the world, he said, "I would say that is unfortunate and I hope that is something that can be corrected. After all the government has not been there very long and I hope sooner or later they will realise the importance of clean air, cleaner water."


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