Monday March 19, 2018

’40 percent people in India may not have water to drink by 2030′ (March 22 is World Water Day)


Ruwa Shah

Forty percent of India’s population may not have drinking water by 2030, if the water crisis in the country is not met seriously, a study has warned.

With the country facing a grave water crisis and lack of water conservation, the availability of potable water and groundwater has decreased over the years which would result in severe situation in the country after a decade, said an activist for water conservation on the eve of World Water Day (March 22) observed to create awareness about water-related issues and for action to deal with the global water crisis.

“By 2030, 40 percent of the total population in the country will not have drinking water if the situation remains same,” Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan’s national convenor Sanjay Singh told the agencies, quoting a research published recently by 2030 Water Resource Group (WRG).

“The ground water is depleting, the small tributaries have dried up to 90 percent and the flow of rivers has reduced by 60-65 percent. This will lead to a severe situation in the coming years reducing water availability to a great extent,” he added.

He also said that the per capita demand has increased whereas the availability is very less. In fact, a report on ground water published by PRS Legislative Research –a non-governmental organisation — says: “Due to increasing population, the national per capita annual availability of water has reduced by 15 percent from 2001 to 2011.”

It also said that India uses almost twice the amount of water to grow crops as compared to China and the US.

“The gap between the availability and demand is increasing at a greater pace. Cities like Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and other metropolitan cities consume water in huge quantities due to changed lifestyle of people. This must be looked into,” Singh told the agencies.

He also said that the efforts done by the government were not enough to meet the crisis.

South Asia Network on Dam, Rivers and People coordinator Himanshu Thakkar says water crisis in the country is multidimensional and is aggravating fast because of various factors including mismanagement of the resource.

He anticipates big problems based on the water crisis looming large in the country if the situation continues.

“Ground water is the lifeline of the country which is depleting very fast. Water is part of the ecological system as every living thing on earth needs water so if not dealt with properly the perennial water crisis may lead to more serious problems like food crisis, livelihood crisis, social conflicts,” Thakkar told the agencies.

He said that social conflicts based on water crisis have already started in the country. The tension between Haryana and Punjab over Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal project and conflicts in Marathwada region of Maharashtra over water are the latest examples.

“In terms of the water crisis in India things have now come to such a pass that a district collector in Latur district in Maharashtra had to implement section 144 to avoid clashes between people due to the water crisis,” Thakkar told the agencies.

Blaming the government, in general, being the major contributor towards the crisis, Thakkar said the government machinery was solely responsible for failing in water management.

“Government is responsible for the water crisis in terms of mismanagement. The government does not involve people in the management of water. This year is a drought year so the problem has increased manifold but the efforts of the government does not seem sufficient to deal with the crisis,” he said.

About the water crisis in Delhi, he said that mismanagement on the part of governments can be seen easily as in February, Jat protesters took over Munak canal in Haryana stopping water supply to the national capital and it took over a fortnight to deal with the consequences.

Ruwa Shah can be contacted at and Ashish Mishra can be contacted at

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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

Also Read: With Medicine Running Out, Venezuelans With Transplant Live in Fear

According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS