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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Open conference on water privatisation

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 17, 2013
First Published: 23:58 IST(17/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:00 IST(18/3/2013)

Public Private Partnership (PPP) models in the water sector has fuelled debates about the viability of the model globally.

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The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had launched three pilot projects for 24-hour water supply in the city under the PPP model and based on its results the scheme would be applicable to the entire national capital. 

Delhi is set to host a conference wherein activists such as Medha Patkar, Vandana Shiva and Himanshu Thakkar will speak at a day-long conference on 'Water Privatisation: Learning from Indian and International Experiences' on Tuesday.

The conference will be open for public. A team from Bolivia, which has seen privatisation of water supply and its effects, is likely to make a presentation. 

Along with the activists, Ajay Kumar (Member of Parliament, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha), Arvind Kejriwal (Aam Aadmi Party), Naresh Sirohi (BJP) who are set to deliver 'political opinion' on 'Water as Human Right: Governance and Social Issues'.    

"India is also promoting PPPs in water sector despite being a signatory to the UN Resolution of 2010, which recognises 'Right to Water as a Human Right'," said SA Naqvi of Citizens Front for Water Democracy.

The Front along with Focus on the Global South in partnership with PEACE and Water Workers Alliances are organising the day-long conference to be held at Indian Social Institute, off Lodi Road.

The activists will discuss and debate the PPP model in water sector in India and learn from different states' experience and plan strategies to "protect water as a common good, which cannot be privatised and commodified", he said.

The recently revised National Water Policy 2012 also foresees the minimisation of the government's role in water services and promotes the involvement of private parties through PPP model, encouraging commercialisation of water services.


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