(From an editorial)
As the summer season advances, the rigours of the problem of water in Madras city become more acute. It is perhaps this immediate factor that had induced the city fathers to accord sanction for an estimate of Rs.79.93 lakhs for the installation of a Rapid Mechanical Filter Plant capable of processing 30 million gallons of water per day. As citizens are only too well aware, the city's water problem is two-fold. There is just not enough water to go round for the growing population, merely in terms of quantity. The quality of the water is also poor, though the Corporation authorities would assure us that the water from its taps is “epidemiologically safe”. A water analyst of the Corporation did agree that all the same, the quality was poor and aesthetically unsatisfactory. While efficient chlorination could render it free of live bacteria, the miscellaneous sediment and flora and fauna of all sorts that flow out of the taps are not the hall-marks of quality. Only a third of the city's supply of drinking water from Red Hills underwent filtration through the mechanical process. The rest of it, amounting to nearly 20 million gallons of water was being filtered by the method of slow sand filters. In 1936, an expert committee had recommended Rapid Mechanical filters as the only way to tackle this problem of purification. The present supply is from the 10 million gallon capacity plant that was commissioned in 1957. The 10 million gallons of pure water processed by those Rapid Mechanical Filters are then mixed with 20 millions of not so pure water passing out of the slow sand filters. That is why it is important that at least this time the State government should sanction the scheme and the request for the funds on a half grant half loan basis.
Increase in labour force
With hardly three weeks for the National Development Council to endorse the final draft of the Third Five-Year Plan, the early general chapters of the draft were approved on May 11 by the Government of India at the highest level, it is learnt in New Delhi. According to the new census figures, the figure of new entrants to the labour force has been re-appraised at 17 million.