Sanjay Jagatsingh

This time it was in Curepipe. Citizens were outraged that they’ve been without running water for up to two weeks. But what else could we expect when regressive tax policies have crippled government so much that it can’t even pay for its own eye-hospital? And things will get worse as long as we remain on the wrong side of compounding. Boolell was there trying to score some cheap points — the government revenue shortfall between 2005 and 2014 was big enough to change the 1,600km of leaking pipes at least five times over.

24/7 water is unlikely to happen when Collendavelloo completes his first term as Minister in the next few months. This is kind of obvious. See, when he took over about 45% of households enjoyed an all-day supply and this week he said it had reached 70%. So if it took 4 years to increase the percentage of subscribers getting round-the-clock water by 25 percentage points (by probably changing around 730km of leaking pipes) it will surely take more than a year to add the last 30% subscribers. Even if the Bagatelle dam comes into operation soon. In fact on the current trajectory 24/7 is not happening before the 2024 election year. Which is a good reason to put as much pressure as possible on government so it brings back some sanity to our tax structure. Because we surely don’t want 400,000 people to have water problems for another 4-5 years.

Public debate on this matter can also be enhanced if the Minister puts at least three very basic series of data on the CWA’s website (the last annual report available there is for 2015). These are the length of the water network at the end of each year and the length and cost of pipes laid in each year since the end of 1967.