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Conflict intensifies against water privatisation


SHIV SUNNY | New Delhi, December 4, 2012 19:09
Tags : water privatisation | Citizen's Front for Water Democracy | CFWD | Delhi Jal Board | Nagloi Public Private Partnership | water privatisation scam |

Going the Arvind Kejriwal way, Citizen's Front for Water Democracy (CFWD) on Tuesday presented a compilation of documents which they claim is hard evidence against Delhi Jal Board (DJB) favouring a contracting company while approving the Nagloi Public Private Partnership. It also went on to suggest that DJB was involved in a scam to the tune of Rs. 1000-4000 crore.

Prima facie it appears that compromises could possibly have been made while approving the project for the improvement and revamping of the existing water supply, transmission and distribution network under the command area of Nagloi water treatment plant.

CFWD's convenor SA Naqvi said that while DJB officials were in utmost hurry to clear this project and issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) to the private player on the same day, they were relaxed when it came to setting up an enquiry against culprit officers involved in the scam. “Why the DJB is not showing the similar urgency what they showed in issuing LoI to the firm without any apparent urgency?”, asked Naqvi. He substantiated his claims with certificates and documents which apparently documented the timing of clearance of the project and the issued the LoI.

The organisation claimed that while documents available with CFWD showed that the length of existing pipe network is 700 kms, the DJB claims that the network is of 700 kms. Sanjay Sharma of Water Wokers Alliance (WWA) demanded that DJB make public the documents to prove that existing pipeline length is as per their claims.

Comparing the projects of Delhi and Patna, Sanjay said that the key performance indicators (KPI) of Patna Project is far more stringent and the project conditions there favour public.

While there were heavy penalties for errors in the Patna project and almost no incentives, documents showed that DJB was liberal in handing out incentives to the private companies. Sanjay however cautioned that the comparison in no way meant that they were in favour of privatisation of water in any way.

Rajinder Sachar, Retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court and patron of the Water Privatisation-Commercial Resistance Committee said that the state government does not want to take responsibility and has failed as a social welfare state.

"The private sectors want to create an impression that the public sector is inefficient and that the private sector is the solution. The government is assisting them through further inefficiency,” said Sachar. He added that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit should not be in power if the government is unable to do what the private sector can.



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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017