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Water as Part of the Fundamental Right to Life

  • Water is very essential for life and for good health.
  • We need water for various daily activities like washing and bathing.
  • We need safe drinking water to prevent water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, which are prevalent in many parts of India.
  • Deaths due to these water borne diseases can be avoided by all the citizens of India have access to clean drinking water.


The Constitution of India recognises the right to water as being a part of the Right to Life under Article 21.


Every person, rich or poor, has the right to sufficient amount of water to meet their daily needs, at a price they can afford. This is known as Universal Access to water.


According to the law of the land, the right to safe drinking water is a Fundamental Right.

Case Study

  • In Mahbubnagar district, in Andhra Pradesh state, a textile company was discharging poisonous chemicals into a stream.
  • The stream was a source of water for the nearby village. Moreover the poisonous chemicals were contaminating the ground water, which was being used by the villagers for irrigation and drinking.
  • The villagers took the matter to court.
  • The Andhra Pradesh High Court restated that the right to safe drinking water is a Fundamental Right.
  • The judges directed the Mahbubnagar district collector to supply 25 litres of water to each person in the village.


The above Case study reveals water is public facility that has to be provided equally to all citizens irrespective of their economic or social status.


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