Public Facilities - Solutions

CBSE Class–VIII Social Science
NCERT Solution
Political Science Chapter 9
Public Facilities

1. Why do you think there are so few cases of private water supply in the world?
 There are very few cases of private water supply in the world because water is an essential amenity. Water supply is a public facility that every government must provide to all citizens of a State. There is a steep rise in the price of water whenever the responsibility of water supply is handed over to private companies making it unaffordable for many. Cities see huge protests and riots break out, forcing the government to take back the service from private hands. For example: In Bolivia conflicts over the water supply resulted in riots, protests and violent demonstrations. Hence, it has been deemed best that the government must handle water supply services.

2. Do you think water in Chennai is available and affordable by all? Discuss.
  1. Water in Chennai is not available to and affordable by all. Availability of a good, regular water supply is proportionate to the level of income one earns, in the city.  Municipal supply meets only about half the needs of the people of the city, on an average. There are areas which get water more regularly than others. Those areas that are close to the storage point get more water whereas colonies farther away receive less water.
  2. In areas like Anna Nagar, Senior government officials can get a whole water tanker arranged for themselves; most areas like Mylapore get water once in two days. People buy bottled water for drinking purposes in Madipakkam.
  3. In slums situation is the worst. Water supply runs for barely an hour every day from a single tap serving over thirty families for all their water needs. Apart from the availability of water, access to "safe" drinking water is only for the privileged who can afford bottled water and water purifiers. The poor are denied "sufficient and safe" drinking water.
  4. The poor are the worst victims of the shortfalls in the water supply. The middle class people manage water through a variety of private means such as digging borewells, buying water from tankers and using bottled water for drinking.
It is essential that the government ensures that the city's residents are provided access to "sufficient and safe" drinking water for an opportunity to live a decent life.

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?
The sale of water by farmers to water dealers in Chennai is affecting the local people in various ways:
  1. The water they are taking away is for irrigation of agriculture. Hence, the lack of water for irrigation affects agriculture. This water is also for general supply and drinking purpose of the villagers. As a result of the heavy exploitation of water, the groundwater levels dropped drastically in these areas.
  2. The sale of water by farmers to water dealers in Chennai has badly affected the local people. They have to face an acute water crisis in their life.
  • Yes, the local people can object to such heavy exploitation of groundwater since it is a public facility or nature’s gift on which everyone has equal right and so nobody can sell or take away exclusively. The use of groundwater affects the poor farmers the most, so they can object to such heavy exploitation.
  • The Government needs to play a crucial role to find out a suitable alternative in this regard.
  1. As a part of the Right to Life, our Constitution recognizes many of the public facilities including access to safe drinking water. So, the Government must see that these rights are protected so that everyone can lead a decent life.
  2. The government can disallow private companies from selling water and can devise efficient ways to sell water at a low cost to the masses.
  3. The government can take strict action against the private companies for exploiting people by charging high prices. 
  4. Methods such as "Rainwater Harvesting" to conserve water for future use can also be encouraged by the government

4. Why are most of the private hospitals and private schools located in major cities and not in towns or rural areas?
 The private hospitals and private schools are mostly located in major cities and not in towns or rural areas because of the following reasons :
  1. The services offered by these private hospitals and private schools are quite costly which the poor and even many middle-class people cannot afford. The expensive services offered here are affordable only by an inhabitant of the cities.
  2. The quality of services and infrastructure offered by private hospitals and schools are definitely better. The number of rich and ambitious people who can afford the costs is greater in cities than in towns or rural areas.

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.
 The facilities and infrastructure in educational institutes run by the government are not up to the mark. Private educational institutions have better facilities and infrastructure; however, they levy very high fees, which only affluent people can afford. So quality education will be the right of only the rich. This will raise the standard of teaching as more and more students will enroll in a private institution. On the other hand education will become expensive making out of reach for the poor.
The weaker sections of the society are deprived of quality education if educational institutions run by the government are not up to the mark. The end result of this disparity will be that only the rich will get a good education while the poor will be deprived of it. This will widen the economic and social disparity among the rich and poor. Consequently, the overall progress of the country will be hampered. The government should take a step to bring government schools at par with private schools.