Basic facilities that are provided to all the citizens of a country are known as public facilities. Water is an example of public facility. In certain areas, there is a shortage of water. People have to buy water from water tankers. Several people get water through private borewells. People have to buy bottled water for drinking purpose. Water is part of the Fundamental Right to Life. Safe drinking water prevents us from many water-related diseases. India has the largest number of cases of diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, etc.
The Constitution of India recognises the right to water as a part of Right to Life under Article 21. This means that it is the right of every person, whether rich or poor. There should be universal access to water. There have been several court cases in which both the High Courts and the Supreme Court have held that the right to safe drinking water is a Fundamental Right. In 2003, women from the village of Plachimada, Kerala protested that their wells had dried up because of over exploitation of ground water. Panchayat Council refused renewal of Coca Cola license to operate. Like water, there are other essential public facilities – Healthcare, sanitation, electricity, public transport and educational institutions.
The government plays an active role in providing health facilities to all citizens. It takes measures to eradicate preventable diseases like polio. Good sanitation prevents people from water-borne diseases. Sanitation facilities are very poor in India. Public Electricity facilities have allowed children to study at night. Transport Facilities have also improved. Mumbai’s suburban railway is a well-functioning public transport system. The government (Centre, State and local government) collect taxes to meet the expenses regarding public facilities programme. The taxes collected are – water tax, road tax, property tax and land tax.