A minor functionary of the political party in power, the Bharatiya Janata Party, came to the meeting and declared at the outset that we would have to give bribes if we wanted the Corporation to do our work. He said that even though the national leader of his party Shri L.K. Advani had taken out a Rath Yatra to campaign against corruption the reality was that in this country nothing got done without bribing. He said that the Municipal Commissioner and Mayor would not take bribes directly but it would be routed to them by the lower level officials. After having made things crystal clear to us he said that it was our problem and if we wanted to solve it then we would have to do as he said. When some people protested that the expense would be too heavy then he said that we should dispose of all the waste water in our colony itself and not bother the Corporation. This of course did not go down well with our colony members.
I too have been saying the same thing to our colony members for quite some time now and citing the example of our own house from which not a single drop of water whether storm or waste escapes as it is all treated and recharged into the ground. There is enough open space in the form of two gardens in our colony and it is possible to treat and recharge all the water in our colony and also the water coming from the nearby colony at a lesser expense than that required for laying a sewer line. However, none of our colony members are prepared for this alternative and are trying to get the Corporation to cart out all the water.
This inability on the part of well to do people to take care of their own waste water and the tendency to pass on the buck on to some one else is the bane of water management and it becomes a serious problem in urban areas. In fact recharging and reuse of waste and storm water aids in the reduction of the load on water supply systems also. Unfortunately this kind of environmental sense does not prevail even today when the problems of waste water disposal and water supply have assumed such serious proportions that it is becoming well nigh impossible for Municipal bodies to tackle them.