Monday, August 5, 2013
The “Rathupaswela” issue could have been contained long ago!
People in a civilized country have certain rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution and further there are international conventions, to which Sri Lanka is a signatory to further strengthen those guarantees.
It is therefore inept, and unfortunate when a legitimate grievance such as the quality of drinking water, becomes one of dispute. Sri Lanka is of an economic level where people can take their drinking water to a place and for the payment of a reasonable fee, have it tested, and the results given to them. The results should then also come with the accepted norms so an educated opinion on water quality can be made.
Water quality is a very important issue in Sri Lanka today, especially due to the CKDU Kidney Disease prevailing in many parts of the Country. It is therefore important that there are instant and reliable water quality testing places in the Country where water of wells and other drinking sources can easily be tested.
Sadly this basic convenience is not available to us, despite the outpouring of news about bad ground water causing numerous other illnesses. It is time the Govt. sets up at least 15 such water testing places island wide, where we can pay say Rs500 per sample to have water brought to it for testing.
After months of speculation, even at this late stage water samples have only NOW been sent for testing to see if the discharge from the DPL company of Hayleys is responsible for the contamination or any other source. The fact that the state mechanisms were unable to get beyond this level all this time is an indictment as to the inefficiency of the systems in place.
The anecdotal evidence now coming is that an elephant refuses to drink the water supplied, as he knows it is not fit for consumption. Then why was it not tested so the exact facts could be ascertained. This acidity of water could be naturally occurring and also arise out of a chemical reaction of effluent all of which we can only know scientifically after testing.
I am surprised that this issue if it were a serious issue, had not come up before, as it is easy for a resident to bring it to the attention of the authorities as there are numerous government agencies one can go to for redress! Or is it that there are so many departments, none wish to accept responsibility and pass the buck onto another, indicative of the inefficiency of the state apparatus of an overmanned public service.
So let us go back to basics and solve our daily issues of living before we try to spend money we do not have to boast achievement that are merely pyrrhic!