Thursday, December 17, 2009

Arithmetic, anybody?

Geeta Desai has published a mathematically challenged article in this morning Mumbai Mirror, titled Rs 1,800 crore for just 2.5 litres more water per person per day! Here's her calculation: "If you thought that the completion of the Middle Vaitarna water project by the year 2012 will ensure ample supply in your home, think again. For, the project will augment supply to the city by a mere 450 million litres per day (MLD), which translates to just about two-and-a-half litres more per person per day. The cost of the project is a whopping Rs 1,800 crore."
Later in the piece, Desai states the city's population is 12.5 million. Dividing 450 million litres by 12.5 million, we get 36 litres extra per day per citizen provided the promised 450 MLD is, in fact, made available. The difference between 2.5 litres and 36 litres is, you will agree, substantial.
In which context, this line from the piece stands out: "The BMC intends to rid citizens of their water woes, but for this the civic administration must get the basics right. They (sic) need to spare a thought for statistics..."

1 comment:

adrian mckinty said...

I was going to tell you to send that to The Times's bad statistics column, but since its just a rip off of The Guardian's bad science column it doesnt seem right.