Asserting that ‘right to water’ was essential for the success of ‘right to food’, the National Platform Against Water Privatisation (NPAWP) on Monday asked the Delhi government to ensure minimum 70 litres free water per capita per day.
The demand came a day before the launch of Delhi’s ambitious food security programme.
The platform termed water as “public good” and said no attempts should be made to privatise it.
“Food and water are inextricably linked. We all know that the causes of malnutrition i.e. acute hunger, poor health and (lack of) hygiene are closely associated with food and water security concerns. For sustainable and comprehensive food and nutrition security, the Delhi government must also declare water security,” the NPAWP said in a letter to chief minister Sheila Dikshit.
Criticising her government’s water privatisation efforts through public private partnership (PPP) projects, NPAWP’s national coordinator SA Naqvi and national advisors Sanjay Sharma and Kiran Shaheen said: “We believe that water is not a commodity and must not be left to the whims of the market.”
Their other demand includes revival of free water kiosks for slum dwellers and commuters.
The United Nation General Assembly in 2010 recognized the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Similarly, the UN Human Rights Council provides for ensuring water security at the individual and community level. The Constitution of India also has several provisions regarding ‘Right to Life’ and ‘Right to Health’, which obviously include Right to Water, the letter reminded Dikshit.