The Great Wa­ter, IPL Cam­ou­flage

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

Hark the sound bites and the col­umn-cen­time­tres on the great wa­ter-IPL is­sue. It is to cam­ou­flage the real wa­ter­guz­zling syn­di­cate: the sugar in­dus­try. Ma­ha­rash­tra ranks sec­ond af­ter UP in sugar pro­duc­tion: this year’s es­ti­mate is 8.6 mil­lion tonnes. Or, 8.6 bil­lion kg. Now, 1 kg of sugar re­quires 1,500 litres of wa­ter. Mul­ti­ply the two and you get just a lit­tle un­der 1.3 tril­lion litres of wa­ter! Now do the arith­metic. At 100 litres per in­di­vid­ual, this wa­ter can be sup­plied to 13 bil­lion peo­ple — or, 10 times In­dia’s pop­u­la­tion — for a day. Or, en­tire In­dia for 10 days. Or, Ma­ha­rash­tra for 240 days. And this is only Ma­ha­rash­tra — In­dia pro­duces 26 mil­lion tonnes of sugar, or three times Ma­ha­rash­tra’s sugar pro­duc­tion. Now cal­cu­late the an­nual na­tional wa­ter guz­zling.

How does this in­dus­try get away with this day­light theft? Be­cause it is owned by the likes of the Pawars that be. And many of them were/are in the BCCI, IPL, etc. So why blame a harm­less event of just one game? Egypt has cut sugar out­put to save wa­ter for rice and pulses that the poor need. And they also get enough wa­ter. The rich have to pay for the lux­ury of a sweet tooth. Can we have dis­cus­sions and edi­to­ri­als on this lit­tle bit of arith­metic with a lot of ze­roes?

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