Public Facilities Class 8 Civics Explanation

Public Facilities Class 8 Civics Chapter 9 Notes

CBSE Class 8 Civics Chapter 9 Public Facilities – Detailed explanation of the chapter ‘Public Facilities’ along with question answers. Given here is the complete explanation of the lesson, along with all the exercises, Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson.

Class 8 Civics Chapter 9 – Public Facilities

By Garima Gunjan

Public Facilities Chapter Introduction

In this chapter, the students will get to know how the government provides different public facilities such as water as the primary example to discuss public facilities. The government takes overall responsibility to provide basic facilities for common Indian citizens which is seen as a part of the basic fundamental right. The chapter discusses the idea of equity or equal availability, quality and affordability of clean water to be provided for every person. Every person nowadays gets different amounts of water which is his or her fundamental right.

Public Facilities Class 8 Video Explanation


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Water and the People of Chennai

Chennai has various areas which are surrounded by green lawns. These lawns are maintained by spraying water over it. However, many parts of Chennai face water shortages as well. Those who are rich can get water tankers by directly talking to the officials of Municipal Water Board. However, those who live in apartments get water once in two days. Those who reside in slums have a single tap for several houses. Sometimes, the water supplied is not even fit for drinking. These people end up spending Rs 500 or more per month to get drinking water. 

Apartments located in city’s Mylapore region face water shortage. The area gets municipal water every two days. Residents are able to meet their water needs with the help of a private borewell. However, this water is brackish. Therefore, residents use this water in their toilets and also for washing purpose. 

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Water as Part of the Fundamental Right to Life

Water is important to live a healthy life. We need it for our daily usage. Safe drinking water keeps us healthy and prevents several diseases as well. If water is not hygienic, it can cause diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery. A survey states that around 1600 Indians die everyday due to diseases which are caused due to unhygienic water. Most of these casualties are under the age of five. If people are provided safe water, we can prevent most of such casualties.

In the Constitution of India, the right to water is a part of Right to Life under Article 21.  It means that every person whether he or she is rich or poor must get sufficient water to fulfill daily needs at the price that he or she can afford. Every person must have universal access to water. 

In the past, we have seen several court cases where both Supreme Court and the High Court held that right to safe water for drinking is a Fundamental right. 

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Public Facilities

Apart from water, there are several other facilities that the government needs to provide to every citizen. Two of these are – Sanitation and Healthcare. Other facilities such as schools & colleges, public transport and electricity are also important. Such facilities are called public facilities. 

Such facilities are important for they benefit a large section of people in a small time. For example, if you establish a school in a village, its kids will start studying and they would not have to travel long distances in order to get an education. Similarly, if electricity is supplied in an area, it will have multiple benefits such as students would find it easy to study at night, to irrigate their fields, farmers could use pump sets, etc.

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Role of Government

Someone needs to carry the responsibility of providing public responsibilities to the people as they are important for their survival. Here, ‘someone’ is government. Ensuring that public facilities are accessible to every citizen is an important function of the government. 

Nowadays, a lot of private companies have started to operate in order to gain profits in the Indian markets. There is no profit to be had in public facilities. For example, no private company will be able to gain anything by cleaning the drainages. 

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However, for other public facilities such as hospitals, schools, etc., a private company might show interest in order to construct them. You can come across several such examples in towns and cities. There are private companies that supply water for drinking in the sealed bottles or supply water tankers in regions where people don’t have access to regular water. However, these services are not available at affordable rates. They are offered at a price which only a few people can afford to pay. If we allow these facilities to be expensive, then other people will be deprived of this facility. 

People’s basic needs depend on public facilities. Any modern society need these facilities to sustain themselves. Under the Indian Constitution, the Right to Life states that public facilities must be accessible by everyone. 

Where does the government get money for public facilities?

The Government of India (GoI) presents its annual budget every year in the Parliament. Through this, people get to know about the expenses made by government on different welfare programmes throughout the year and how much money it would be spending on the same in the coming year. 

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While presenting this budget, the government also announces it is planning to meet the expenses of the upcoming year. The tax collected from the people is the main source of income for the government. Then it utilises that money for the welfare programmes. For example, the cost of pumping water, carrying it for long distances, laying down pipes for water distribution, offer water treatment for impurities and treatment of collected wastewater is incurred by the government. 

The GoI is able to meet such kind of expenses partly through taxes collected from the government and partly charging people for the water they use. With the set price, people utilise minimum amount of water on a daily basis. 

Water Supply to Chennai: Is it Available to All?

Although the government tries its best to supply water to every person, in reality a large section of people are suffering due to shortage of water. Now, we are going to read about water’s provision which is an essential public facility. 

Chennai has seen several instances of water shortage in the recent years. Its Municipal supply is capable of meeting the water supply needs of only half of the people. Few areas get regular supply of water as compared to others. The areas that are situated near shortage points get more water as compared to farther regions.

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The poor people face a lot due to this issue. If the middle class faces water issue, they solve it by different private means like buying tankers or bottled waters and digging borewells. Apart from that, not every person has access to safe drinking water. Since, water purifiers and bottled water industry has boomed, it has offered a choice to wealthy people. People who can buy these products can afford drinking water, while the poor are left out. Due to this, it seems that only those who can afford have access to clean drinking water. It is a far cry from the government’s goal of universal access to safe and sufficient water. 

Taking water from farmers

As several regions in India face shortage of drinking water, it has opened an opportunity for the private companies on a large scale. In Chennai, many private companies buy water from nearby places such as Karungizhi, Mamandur and Palur and sell it to the city. Due to this, water is taken away from villages for different purposes such as agriculture, daily usage, etc. The farmers are paid a certain amount of sum every month by water dealers so that the latter can exploit former’s land in order to collect water. Due to this, there has been a decline in ground water level in this region. 

In Search of Alternatives

The situation faced by Chennai citizens is not new. A number of cities in India face an acute shortage of water during summer months every year. Private companies who sell water in order to earn profit have started increasing due to inability by the Municipality to provide so. Another reason is greater inequality of water usage. 

According to the Urban Water Commission, an average Indian should get 135 litres of water per day which is equivalent to seven buckets. People residing in luxury hotels use almost 1600 litres of water per day which is equivalent to 80 buckets. However, those from slum areas get less than 20 litres of water to utilise which is equivalent to less than one bucket. 

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The inability of Municipalities to provide water depicts the government’s failure to deal with such a situation. People have started favoring private companies to complete their water needs. 

Consider these facts:

  1. Across the world, water supply is the function of government. There are minimum instances of private water supply. 
  2. There are several regions across the world where public water supply can be accessed universally.
  3. In some cases, where the private parties used to supply water, it prices rose and many people could not afford it. In places such as Bolivia, people started protesting on a large scale and riots took place as well. This move forced that country’s government to rollback their decision.
  4. In India, there are few successful cases of government providing water in adequate amount to its citizens –  even though they are smaller in number. Mumbai’s water supply department raises sufficient money via water charges in order to cover its expenses to provide water. In Chennai, this department has introduced several initiatives so that citizens could start harvesting water. Although private companies are allowed to provide water in Chennai, but it is the government who decides the rates. In Hyderabad, a report has shown that water coverage has been increased by the department which has improved the collection of revenue. 

Public Water Supply in Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre is a place situated in Brazil. Although the city has poor citizens residing in large numbers it has lower number of infant deaths if you compare it with other places. The water department of this city has managed to achieve universal access to safe water which has reduced the death of infants. The poor people have to pay half of the fixed prices for water in that city. The profit made by the city department is further utilised to improve the access of water. The working style of this department is transparent and people are allowed to advise the government regarding which project it should take. 


Under the Indian Constitution, it has been mentioned that Right to Education, Water and Health is a part of Right to Life. It is the duty of government to provide such facilities for the common people. Although, the government has implemented various policies to provide such facilities to common people, yet the results are not up to mark. Villages do not have adequate amount of water as compared to cities. Similarly, poor localities do not have adequate water sources as compared to rich localities. 

Public Facilities Chapter Questions and Answers

Q1. Why do you think there are so few cases of private water supply in the world?

Answer. As water is an essential requirement, due to this there are less cases of water supply in the world. The government of a place must provide to all its citizens. If it falls in the hands of private bodies, particularly the poor people can’t afford it as the prices goes up in this case. 

Q2. Do you think water in Chennai is available to and affordable by all? Discuss.

Answer. No, every person cannot afford water in Chennai. On an average, the city municipality is capable of meeting the demands of only half of the population. Due to this, there are shortages of water supply. In an area, water supply is proportionate to income of the people. For example, affluent people from Anna Nagar can arrange a whole water tanker shortly whenever they face the shortage of water. However, those from slums have only one tap for around 30 families.   

Q3. . How is the sale of water by farmers to water dealers in Chennai affecting the local people? Do you think local people can object to such exploitation of ground water? Can the government do anything in this regard?

Answer. As the farmers from Chennai sell their water to the dealers, it is affecting the local people in following ways:

  1. The level of groundwater has reduced drastically in various regions.
  2. Villagers don’t get enough water for daily usage.
  3. They do not have enough water to irrigate their fields. 

As the water is a facility which should be accessed by everyone, therefore the local people should object to exploitation of water at such a level. To curb this issue, the government must come up with an alternate solution. Only the water department should have the right to supply water.

Q4. Why are most of the private hospitals and private schools located in major cities and not in towns or rural areas?

Answer. In our country, public facilities are distributed on an inadequate and unfair basis. For example, urban areas have more facilities such as private schools and private hospitals as compared to those in towns and cities. The former also consume more electricity than the latter areas. Rural areas and cities have to face power cuts and water cuts from time to time whenever the supply is low. However, this doesn’t happen in term of cities. Many private business houses also bring them in order to look for profit 

Q5. . Do you think the distribution of public facilities in our country is adequate and fair? Give an example of your own to explain.

Answer. No, the distribution of public facilities in our country is not adequate and fair. For example, in metro cities people are provided with all the services such as 24 hour transport facility, good health services, electricity supply, shopping malls, multiplexes, etc. However, the rural towns and villages are deprived of the same. 

Q6. Take some of the public facilities in your area, such as water, electricity, etc. Is there scope to improve these? What in your opinion should be done? Complete the table:

Is it available?
How can it be improved?
Public Transport

Answer.  Area Surveyed: Chandigarh

Is it available?
How can it be improved?
Slum areas should get water daily.
There should be no frequent power cuts in rural areas
Pathholes should be repaired.
Public Transport
Few areas should be connected to the main city with the help of public transport.

Q7. Are the above public facilities shared equally by all the people in your area? Elaborate.

Answer. No, all people living in a particular area do not get equal share of public facilities. Depending upon the region they live in public facilities may vary. For example, not all villages have even basic necessities such as roads, clear drinking water, Primary Healthcare Centres, schools, etc. as compared to cities. Sometimes, the villages are not even connected to the main roads which is a matter of concern. 

Q8. Data on some of the public facilities are collected as part of the Census. Discuss with your teacher when and how the Census is conducted.

Answer. The last census took place in 2011. It is held every ten years in India. From many angles, the Census data is widely useful. It provides detailed data regarding distribution of public facilities in different regions. We get an idea about people from rural as well as urban areas and the facilities that they lack. Based on the Census data, the government decides its policies in order to provide different facilities that marginalised people lack.

Q9. Private educational institutions – schools, colleges, universities, technical and vocational training institutes are coming up in our country in a big way. On the other hand, educational institutes run by the government are becoming relatively less important. What do you think would be the impact of this? Discuss.

Answer. Private educational institutes charge very high fees which can be afforded by only the upper-middle-class people. Therefore, the quality of education is designed keeping hose people in mind. Most of the educational institutes run by the government institutes do not have the required infrastructure, regular teachers, etc. which needs to be improved so that the poor sections of society can get educational benefits.