An interview with Prof. Asit Biswas by Rajeev Turlapati
New Global Indian | Volume 1 | Issue 2 | July, 2011
Do you think your efforts designed to solve water problems will reach the smallest of areas of large cities?
Biswas: My work is having considerable impact on the poorest people of the urban areas. It is a myth that poor people do not want to pay for water. In fact, they pay an exorbitant amount at present compared to their richer counterparts. From Manila to Mexico City, the urban poor pay for water 10-15 times more than their richer counterparts, and still receive poorer quality water and a very bad service. Our work in Phnom Penh shows poor people are very happy to pay for water as long as they receive good quality water in the convenience of their houses at a reasonable price. I am trying my best to change the mindsets of the Indian decision- makers and water professionals that both rich and poor are willing to pay a decent price for water as long as they receive a good service. It also ensures water utilities have financial sustainability.