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The Asian Age
27th April 2007
â€˜Donâ€™t privatise water supplyâ€™
By OUR CORRESPONDENT
Mumbai, April 26: The water activists at an event on Thursday, spoke about the problems that could follow once water is privatised in Mumbai.
"India has sufficient financial resources to meet the demands of water," said Mr Julian Perez, a water activist from Bolivia. In other countries where water has been privatised, the lower class and the middle class people spend a major chunk of their monthly income to pay the water bills, due to high water costs marked by the private companies distributing water.
On the question of plugging all the leaks in the water pipelines, Mr T.V. Shah, officer on special duty, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said, "It is not possible to plug all the leakages in the city. Such a task has not been successful in any other city."
According to the BMC officials, presently the cost of water in Mumbai is very cheap. The BMC gets Rs 1,400 crores from water distribution, of which around Rs 70 crores is water tax and the rest is from the water charges.
"The World Bank has pushed for exactly the same kind of management contract in Delhi. Castalia, a water distributing company, has been asked to develop a water distribution management for K-east ward of Mumbai. The same project was dropped due to protests by the citizens of Delhi. It is important that as a concerned citizens, we do not privatise water distribution," said Mr Afsar Jafri from Mumbai Paani.
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