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Public Facilities

Know Your Public Facilities

A school helps many children of an area to get an education, there’s a supply of electricity in an area. There’s more to this. What are these facilities called? Who provides for these facilities? Well, they’re ‘Public Facilities’. Let us know more about them!

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The Role Of Government

Right to life is a fundamental right under article 21 of the constitution and it includes the right to the enjoyment of pollution-free water and air for full enjoyment of life.

The most important function of the government is to:

  • Ensure that the public facilities are made available to everyone
  • For public facilities, no profit should be gone to the government.

As we know that private companies operate for profit in the market. In such cases, private companies provide public facilities but at a price that only some people can afford. Hence, it is the responsibility of the government to provide public facilities.

However, there are many examples of private companies providing public facilities, like New Delhi where electricity distribution is in the hands of private companies. In such case, the government has to put in proper checks and balances to keep the charges under a limit.

Public Facilities

Funds for Public Facilities

The main source of revenue for the government is the taxes collected from the people, and the government is empowered to collect these taxes and use them for such programs.

For example, to supply water the government has to incur cost in pumping water, carrying it over long distances, laying down pipes for distribution, etc.   It meets the expenses by taxes and the price charged to the people for water. The rate is set so that most people can afford a certain minimum amount of water for daily use.

Supply of Water in Cities

Jal Board or Water Board that comes under the municipality in the city, supplies water to the cities. Municipal supply meets only about half the needs of the people of the city, areas that are close to the storage point get more water whereas colonies away receive less water.

According to Urban Water Committee, a person in an urban area needs at least 135 litres of water per day for quality life. But a person living in slum gets only 20-litre water per day. Leakage in pipelines further increases the problem. The municipality, however, also makes arrangements for Water Tankers.

Many people also dig bore well and install water pumps to compensate for inadequate water supply but it decreases the water level of that particular area. As the shortage of municipal water is taken a sign of the failure of the government, some people argue to allow private companies as according to them, the private companies can perform better.

Consider the following facts:

  • The government supplies water in all over the world.
  • There are some areas in the world the public water supply has achieved Universal access.
  • Places, where water supply was handed over to private companies, showed a steep rise in the price making it unaffordable for many.
  • Within India, there are cases of success in government department though they are few in number and limited to certain areas of their work. For example, cities like Mumbai have raised water charges to reach the expenses of water supply. Hyderabad showed increased coverage and improved performance in revenue collection. Department of Chennai has taken initiative like rainwater harvesting to increase the level of ground-water, they also give permission to supply the Water tankers at the fixed rate.

Question For You

Q1. What are the main functions of the Government?

Ans: The most important function of the government is to:

  • Public facilities should be available to everyone.
  • The government should not have any profit from public facilities.

Q2. What do you mean by the public facilities?

Things like water, electricity, public transport, school and colleges that are necessary for quality life are public facilities. Once there’s provision of public facilities, many people can share its benefits. For example, a school will help many children of an area to get an education, the supply of electricity in an area will be useful for many people and water facilities will help in irrigation of fields and supply of water to every farm and home.

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