Friday, May 11, 2007

water in india is a hot topic. or rather shall we say 'hard to find' topic. as sunita narain puts it aptly, ""Water will define if we remain poor or become rich".

downtoearth had a book review on "Water: Private, Limited – Issues in Privatisation, Corporation and Commercialisation of Water Sector in India". privatising water is a tell tale sign of fake development in india.

there are huge issues in ppp model in water sector. mostly it is private sector benefit with public interest casualty. and there in the tom-toming of fake development lies. from the link,

Actually, ppp means private companies providing water to industries or residential areas, where people can pay, leaving the poor at the mercy of local government. The authors feel this has virtually sounded the death knell of the cross-subsidy system—in which water agencies collect from the rich to subsidise the poor.

Social responsibility is the casualty.
Privatisation almost always comes with increased water tariffs: in Manila and Guinea, water rates shot up by 500 per cent and 750 per cent respectively. The companies justify such hikes saying it was necessary to recover costs. But a simple audit of some private firms shows this argument doesn't hold water.

The authors cite Delhi's proposed privatisation plan in which zonal managers would get Rs 11 lakh a month as pay.

The company continues to operate the utility in face of stiff resistance from local people. For good reason: Radial Water is paid for supplying 4 million litres of water daily (mld), while the actual supply is 1 mld.
Often, consultants rake in more than what is allocated to a critical sector of a project.

frontline had a very good article on this titled aptly as "private water, public misery"

one para summarises it all when it comes to privatisation of water.
In an article written on the occasion of World Water Day in The Hindu (March 22), U.S. Ambassador to India David C. Mulford cited the Tirupur project "as a great example of how private sector involvement" can "dramatically improve access to water and sanitation".

The evidence certainly does not back his assertion that the involvement of the private sector actually results in lower costs and better services. Water is not only substantially more expensive as a result of the scheme, but large sections have been excluded from a service that was once the duty of the government to provide.

when it comes to even basic essential service like water, our government chasing industrialists for investments have forgotten their right to govern and have forsaken the right to govern right.
( Collecting water from a broken pipe in the heart of Tirupur. This is a common site in the town.)


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