NCERT – Public Facilities

Question 1.
Why do you think there are so few cases of private water supply in the world?
Solution:
There are few cases of private water supply in the world, because:

  1. Private company deals for profit in the market.
  2. In the water facility, there is no profit or very less profit.
  3. Private companies do not take interest in undertaking no profit or low-profit work.

Question 2.
Do you think the water in Chennai is available and affordable by all? Discuss.
Solution:
Water is not equally available to all citizens in Chennai. Certain areas like Anna Nagar get copious water while areas like Saidapet receive very little water. Municipal supply meets only about half the needs of the people of the city, on an average. Areas that are close to the storage points get more water whereas colonies further away receive less water. The burden of shortfalls in water supply falls mostly on the poor.

The middle class, when faced with water shortages, are able to cope through a variety of private means such as digging bore wells, buying water from tankers, and using bottled water for drinking. The wealthy have safe drinking water, whereas the poor are again left out. In reality, universal access to ‘sufficient and safe’ water, in Chennai, is still a dream.

Question 3.
How is the sale of water by farmers to water dealers in Chennai affecting the local people? Do you think local people can object to such exploitation of groundwater? Can the government do anything in this regard?
Solution:
The sale of water by the farmer to the water dealers in Chennai affects the local people as this water is for irrigation as well for drinking for them. So the agricultural crops, as well as people, suffer. Moreover, groundwater levels have dropped drastically.

  • Local people can and should object to such exploitation of groundwater.
  • The government on their part should restrict the use of groundwater by the individual farmers according to their needs and make strict laws against overuse.

Question 4.
Why are most of the private hospitals and private schools located in major cities and not in towns or rural areas?
Solution:
Because of the following reasons:

  • In major cities life is fast. People could not wait for hours together standing in long queues as they have to do in government hospitals.
  • They can afford it as they have money to spend.
  • City people are more ambitious.
  • They expect better facilities in private hospitals and private schools.
  • In private schools, infrastructural facilities are more.

Question 5.
Do you think the distribution of public facilities in our country is adequate and fair? Give an example of your own to explain.
Solution:
1. Distribution of public facilities such as the right to water, health, education, etc. in our country is not adequate and fair.

 Major role of government is to ensure adequate public facilities for everyone.

3. But progress in this regard is far from satisfactory.

4. There are inequality and irregularity in the distribution of water supply.

  • Compared to the metropolitan and big cities, towns and villages are provided low water supply.
  • In comparison to wealthy localities, the poorer localities are under-serviced.
  • People living in slums suffer a lot. They are provided with a very low water supply.

Examples

  • The posh colonies of Delhi like Anand Niketan have all modern facilities and these facilities are sophisticated.
  • Public facilities are lacking in unauthorized colonies.

Question 6.
Private educational institutions – schools, colleges, universities, technical and vocational training institutes are coming up in our country in a big way. On the other hand, educational institutes run by the government are becoming relatively less important. What do you think would be the impact of this? Discuss.
Solution:

  • The government would withdraw from these activities or parents will send their children to private schools.
  • Private agencies will be given a boost.
  • The money would play an important role.
  • Children from the deprived sections of the society would be at loss.
  • Less qualified teachers would work in private institutions.
  • Malpractices will be encouraged.

1. Why do you think there are so few cases of private water supply in the world?

Answer: Water is a basic necessity. Hence, universal access to safe drinking water is necessary for a standard quality of life. It needs to be provided to everyone – either free of charge or at affordable rates. But, as private companies work towards the singular goal of maximising profits, there was a steep rise in the price of water in cases where the responsibility for water supply was handed over to private companies. This made water unaffordable for many. Cities saw huge protests with riots breaking out at various places. This forced the governments to take back the service from private hands. Therefore, only a few cases of private water supply exist in the world.

2. Do you think water in Chennai is available to and affordable by all? Discuss.

Answer: Water is not equally available to all citizens in Chennai. Water in Chennai is supplied by the municipality, which fails to meet the demand 100%. Some areas get a regular water supply, while many areas get an erratic supply of water. People from the middle class and upper class buy packaged drinking water or water from tankers. The burden of water supply shortage falls mostly on the poor, as they cannot afford the expense of tankers or packaged water. Those who live close to the storage points get more water, while colonies further away receive less supply.

3. How is the sale of water by farmers to water dealers in Chennai affecting the local people? Do you think local people can object to such exploitation of groundwater? Can the government do anything in this regard?

Answer: Due to the shortage of water, private companies have got an opportunity and are selling water to cities by buying it from places around the city. In Chennai, water is taken from nearby towns like Karungizhi Palur and Mamandur village to the north of the city, using a fleet of over 13,000 water tankers. Every month, the water dealers pay an advance to farmers for the rights to exploit water sources on their land. This way, the water that is taken away is not just creating a deficit for agricultural purposes but also increasing the shortage of drinking water supplies in the villages. As a result, the level of groundwater has dropped drastically in all these towns and villages.

4. Why are most of the private hospitals and private schools located in major cities and not in towns or rural areas?

Answer Most of the private schools and hospitals are located in the cities rather than in towns or villages. Since their sole motive is maximum profit, the services they offer are costly and affordable only to affluent dwellers in the city.

5. Do you think the distribution of public facilities in our country is adequate and fair? Give an example of your own to explain.

Answer While there is no doubt that public facilities should be made available to all, in reality, we see that there is a great shortage of such facilities.

The distribution of public facilities in our country is neither adequate nor fair.

For example, the Delhites avail all public facilities like healthcare and sanitation, water, electricity, schools, colleges and public transport. But if we go to places a few kilometres away, such as Mathura or Aligarh, people have to face grave crises for these facilities.

Water shortages and electricity cut-offs are part of the normal routine of life in those places. Public transport is also not properly developed. Compared to the metros and large cities, towns and villages are under-provided. Compared to wealthy localities, the poorer localities are under-serviced. Handing these facilities over to private companies is not an answer. The important fact is that every citizen of the country has a right to these facilities, which should be provided to all in an equitable manner.

6. Take some of the public facilities in your area, such as water, electricity, etc. Is there scope to improve these? What in your opinion should be done? Complete the table.

Is it available?How can it be improved?
Water
Electricity
Road
Public Transport

Answer

Is it available?How can it be improved?
WateryesConstructing separate water tanks and making water supply available 24 hours.
ElectricityyesMaking electricity supply available 24 hours by keeping a check on electricity theft and its conservation
RoadyesNo improvement needed. But if there are no proper roads, then the construction of new roads, more flyovers and highways will be of help
Public TransportyesPublic transport is good, but better connectivity to more areas in the city can be achieved by introducing new buses and increasing the frequency of buses

7. Are the above public facilities shared equally by all the people in your area? Elaborate.

Answer No, the above-mentioned facilities are not shared equally in the areas. Water supply is not shared equally by all the people. The slum dwellers have to manage with a single water tap, whereas each house in a middle-class locality has a separate connection for water. While people of middle-class homes buy water from tankers to meet their needs, those in slums cannot afford it. However, other facilities, like electricity, road and public transport, are shared equally by all.

8. Data on some of the public facilities are collected as part of the Census. Discuss with your teacher when and how the Census is conducted.

Answer Students have to do this under the guidance of their teacher.

9. Private educational institutions – schools, colleges, universities, technical and vocational training institutes are coming up in our country in a big way. On the other hand, educational institutes run by the government are becoming relatively less important. What do you think would be the impact of this? Discuss.

Answer Education is a basic need, and there should be universal access to education. But, as the main motive of private education institutes is earning profits, they charge high fees which are affordable only to the affluent section of society. Thus, the right to quality education is only fulfilled for the rich class. Similarly, if government education institutes are not up to the mark, then weaker sections are again deprived of quality education. This, in turn, results in the disparity of quality education between the rich and the poor.

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