Campaign to claim water as fundamental right launched
On a day when Rio 2012 kicked off to discuss environment and water issues, rights activists, NGOs and trade unions joined hands to launch a 'Right to Water' campaign in the national Capital on Wednesday.delhi Updated: Jun 21, 2012 00:24 IST
On a day when Rio 2012 kicked off to discuss environment and water issues, rights activists, NGOs and trade unions joined hands to launch a 'Right to Water' campaign in the national Capital on Wednesday.
Declaring the 'right to water' as a fundamental right to life, they demanded equitable distribution of water and protested moves by Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to introduce privatisation through public-private partnership (PPP) model.
"There is no water democracy in Delhi. Transparency and accountability are a must for democracy and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) does not practice it," said Himanshu Thakkar, environmental activist.
Colin Gonsalves, a rights activist-cum-lawyer, said: "There would be no change in the situation unless the Prime Minister or the chief minister suffers personally. Need is to evolve a legal strategy for our fight for water as a fundamental right to life."
The campaigners have written an open letter to the Prime Minister, which states: "As Delhi suffers through the worst water crisis, we urge you to help the city in ensuring an equitable water supply. We demand that Delhi government should ensure an uninterrupted water supply on the basis of 120 litres per capita consumption, as per WHO standards. We also demand just and rational supply to the so called unauthorised colonies in Delhi."
Kiran Shaheen from the campaign said, "We are going to hold public hearing soon to hear out Delhi's problems of unequal distribution. We will also hold a convention on claiming water as a 'fundamental right' rather than a service by the government to its people."
Thakkar also pointed out that the examples of cities having PPP models for water supply mentioned by Minister for Water Resources in the Parliament last month "completely misrepresents the facts and misleading for Parliament as well as the people because all cases cited are failed projects."