Class VIII, Social and Political Life III (Civics)
Economic Presence of The Government - Public Facilities
NCERT Answers of Chapter 9, Textbook Exercise Importnt Questions only
Question.1: Why do you think there are so few cases of private water supply in the world?
Answer: There are very few cases of private water supply in the world. The main reasons are that a private company works for profit in the market. Private companies would never be attracted in undertaking any job in which the profit is only marginal. There have been a few instances, where the responsibility for water supply was handed over to private companies. As a result there was a steep rise in the price of water making it unaffordable for most of the people. Within India, few private companies supply water through water tankers or sealed bottles. But because of their high price not all people can afford it.
Water is a basic need of the people. The Indian Constitution recognizes the right to water as being a part of the Right to Life. The responsibility lies with the Government to ensure universal access to water. That is why around the world water supply is done mainly by the respective Governments at an affordable rate so that nobody is deprived of this facility.
Question.2: Do you think water in Chennai is available and affordable by all? Discuss.
Answer: No, from the various examples given in the book about water supply in Chennai, I think, water is neither available nor affordable by all there.
Bungalows in posh areas like, Anna Nagar get tap water for major part of the day. People living in these areas like Mr.Ramgopal, can get water supply with their approach to higher authorities in municipal water board. Whereas most areas of the city suffer from water shortage. Areas like Mylapore gets municipal water once in two days and Madipakkam gets water once in four days and a slum dweller of Saidapet like Padma lives in acute water scarcity. Municipal water supply in Chennai meets only 50% needs of people of the city. Those areas that are close to the storage points gets more water whereas colonies farther away receive less water.
The burden of short-falls in water supply falls mostly on the poor. The middle class are able to manage the situation through a variety of private means such as, digging bore-wells, buying water from tankers and using bottled drinking water which the poor cannot afford.
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 ground water? Can the Government do anything in this regard?
Answer: The sale of water by farmers to water dealers in Chennai is affecting the local people in various ways:
- The water they are taking away is for irrigation of agriculture. Because of this exploitation irrigation and so, agriculture is bound to suffer.
- This water is also for general supply and drinking purpose of the villagers.
- As a result of the heavy exploitation of water, the ground water levels dropped drastically in these areas.
Yes, the local people can object to such heavy exploitation of ground water 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 Government needs to play a crucial role to find out a suitable alternative in this regard. Our Constitution recognizes many of the public facilities including access to safe drinking water, as being a part of the Right to Life. So, the Government must see that these rights are protected so that everyone can lead a decent life.
Question.4: Why are most of the private hospitals and private schools located in major cities and not in towns and rural areas?
Answer: 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 infrastructure and quality of services offered by these hospitals and schools are definitely better. The rich and ambitious people who can afford to their costs live more in cities than in towns or rural areas. This is the reason why the private hospitals and private schools are mostly located in major cities and not in towns or rural areas.
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.
Answer: I don’t think so because the distribution of public facilities in our country is neither adequate nor fair. Public facilities are related to our basic needs such as, water, health, education etc. One of the major roles of the Government is to ensure adequate and equal access to these public facilities for everyone. But progress on this front has been far from satisfactory. There is a shortage in supply and there are inequalities in distribution. Compared to large cities, towns and villages are under-provided. Also compared to wealthy localities, the poorer localities are under-serviced.
Example: The water supply in Chennai which meets only 50% needs of the people of the city. The posh colonies like Anna Nagar get water in excess than their requirement whereas areas like Saidapet have acute scarcity of water. Official figures for 2001 show that 68% of the households in India have access to drinking water and only about 36% have access to sanitation.
- Social and Political Life III, Public Facilities - Class VIII, NCERT Civics - Solutions of CBSE Sample Questions