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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Activists launch group to create public awareness on water rights

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 22, 2013
First Published: 00:24 IST(22/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:26 IST(22/3/2013)

In the wake of the fact that 35 cities across India have partially or fully launched water privatisation projects, activists and water workers have formed a group - National Coalition Against Water Privatisation - to launch a public awareness programme on water rights.

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Delhi has already embarked on three pilot water privatisation projects.

Convinced that corruption was the main driving force behind the government’s move to privatise water in the garb of public private partnership (PPP) models, activists from as many as 37 cities, NGO representatives and water workers’ unions held a meeting to discuss the role of civil society and activists in preventing privatisation of water.

 “Full or partial, the water sector in more than 35 cities has been privatised and efforts are on to go ahead with similar schemes in another 80 cities. We plan to launch a protest campaign throughout India as activists and NGOs from across the country are keen to fight it out,” said Afsar Jafri of Focus on Global South.

SA Naqvi of Citizens Front for Water Democracy alleged that people are paying for ‘corruption vis-à-vis privatisation’ in terms of enhanced tariff without getting any service.” 

“Despite people’s opposition, governments across the country are forcing privatisation agenda on the public. There are various groups in different cities raising voice against water privatisation and it is time now to unite,” Sanjay Sharma of Water Workers’ Alliance said.

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