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High temperature means good business for water sellers!

High temperature means good business for water sellers!

New Delhi: 28-year-old Shafiqul wakes up at 5 in the morning. Within half an hour, he reaches at the nearest RO (reverse osmosis ) plant in Okhla Vihar along with his cart which can load 10 cans of water.

The next few hours are quite strenuous for him as he has to sell all his cans as soon as possible. The more rounds to the RO plant the more the profit. They are locally called 'Paniwala' in the area.

"When the temperature touches 44 degrees or goes above, I know its good business. The water consumption in the area increases. The more trips I make, the more I earn. On a normal day, I sell close to 70 cans of water. This number reaches 150 when the temperature shoots above 44 degrees," says Shafiqul, who came to Delhi some years back from West Bengal.

A can of water is sold for Rs 15 in the areas which have water scarcity and are yet to receive drinking water from the Delhi Jal Board (DJB). The worst affected areas are Shaheen Bagh and Abul Fazal, two adjoining areas near the Yamuna banks at Kalindi Kunj in Jamia Nagar which have the major scarcity of drinking water. Both areas are still waiting for water pipelines.

This has made RO plants mushroom in the area. The RO plant charges Rs 5 per can of water which is sold at a profit of Rs 10.

"Since Delhi is mostly having flats, its a tough task to carry the weight of can which has almost 20 litres of water to the fourth floor. Its the work of able-bodied men. Though with unskilled workers like us, its a good business. More temperature brings more money to us," says Anwarul, another Paniwala from the area.

Delhi has been witnessing heat spells with the temperature hovering around 43 degrees. The tempertuare also touched 48 degrees on June 10 recording the highest temperature for June in the last century.

Zafar Abbas

Zafar Abbas

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