Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The provision of an adequate supply of good drinking water is A primary necessity and, generally speaking, reasonably satisfactory arrangements are in existence. At the same time instances are no wanting where the supply is of a suspicious character, particularly where water is obtained from surface tanks or ponds—even when these Are properly fenced—and from surface wells, which are at all times liable to become polluted. Tube wells may not always be practicable, but the water from such wells is ordinarily free from surface pollution. As we also have evidence that in certain plantations these have given satisfactory results, we recommend their adoption wherever conditions are suitable. The prevalence of bowel diseases is an indication of the urgent need for the provision of pure drinking water, and expenditure on purification plants may be essential. This is realised by many employers, and on one estate we visited, the management had spent no less than Rs. 90, 000 on a purification plant. Where supplies are drawn from hill streams, protection could probably be best afforded by conducting the water through pipes to the house lines. In such cases a piped water supply need not, involve a heavy expenditure, and we recommend its provision wherever possible, because this ensures the minimum of pollution and incidentally saves the women a great deal of hard work.
Fortunately cholera cannot be said to be endemic in any of the plantation areas of India, although occasional outbreaks occur. Inoculation with anti-cholera vaccine, carried out, if possible, before the cholera season commences, has already proved of value, and a wider use of this method of immunisation would preclude the danger of serious outbreaks among the plantation populations.