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In Pictures: People fight for every drop in drought-hit Delhi

Updated : 2019-07-08 11:19:38

In this teeming capital city of more than 20 million people, a worsening drought is amplifying the vast inequality between India's rich and poor. The politicians, civil servants and corporate lobbyists who live in substantial houses and apartments in central Delhi pay very little to get limitless supplies of piped water – whether for their bathrooms, kitchens or to wash the car, dog, or spray a manicured lawn. They can do all that for as little as $10-$15 a month. But step into one of the slum areas in the inner city or a giant disorganized housing estate on the outskirts and there is a daily struggle to get and pay for very limited supplies of water, which is delivered by tanker rather than pipe. And the price is soaring as supplies are fast depleting. India's water crisis is far from even-handed - the elite in Delhi and most other parts of the country remain unaffected while the poor scramble for supplies every day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official residence and those of his cabinet are in central Delhi, as are those of most lawmakers. That may help to explain why it took until this week for Modi to call for a massive water conservation program, the first big initiative by the government despite years of warnings about dry reservoirs and depleted water tables, policymakers and water industry experts said.

A woman and her daughter carry a container after filling it with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
A woman and her daughter carry a container after filling it with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
A girl walks past the empty water containers kept by the residents to collect free drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
A girl walks past the empty water containers kept by the residents to collect free drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
Residents fill their containers with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
Residents fill their containers with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
Residents fill their containers with drinking water through pipes from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis
Residents fill their containers with drinking water through pipes from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis
Residents fill their containers with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/Files
Residents fill their containers with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/Files
Residents use temporary pipes to fill their containers with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/Files
Residents use temporary pipes to fill their containers with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/Files
A woman stands after filling her containers with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
A woman stands after filling her containers with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
Residents holds pipes as they wait for a municipal water tanker in New Delhi, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
Residents holds pipes as they wait for a municipal water tanker in New Delhi, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
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