Published On : Sat, Jun 29th, 2013
Latest News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

National Platform for Right to Water to be launched on June 30 in Nagpur

Nagpur News:

The Citizen’s Front for Water Democracy (CFWD) and Focus on the Global South, in collaboration with the Nagpur Municipal Corporation Employees Union, will organise one-day strategy meeting on June 30 (Sunday) 2013, at the Conference Hall,  the Church of North India, Gardiner School Campus, behind Labour Court, Civil Lines, Nagpur to launch the National Platform for Right to Water (NPRW).

Similarly, the organisers will hold a press briefing at the same venue at 5 pm to inform the media about the National Platform for Right to Water.

This meeting is a follow up of the Conference on Water Privatization: National and International experiences, held at the Indian Social Institute in New Delhi on March 19, 2013. Nagpur has been chosen to launch the National Platform for Right to Water because India’s first 24X7 water project under JNNURM was launched in the city. Despite many problems and failures of the 24×7 public private partnership (PPP) in Nagpur, this model is being promoted and replicated in many cities across India for water reforms under JNNURM.

It may be recalled, in the month of May, 2013 alone, more than 25 protests were held in Nagpur against the poor water supply by the private operator Orange City Water Ltd. When all over the world there is a trend of re-municipalization of water after having bad experiences with water privatization, the 24×7 water reforms in Nagpur has become a model to push water privatization in India.

On the evening of March 19, immediately after the water conference, campaign groups from different cities of India, held a planning meeting to discuss the possibilities of forming a national platform to take the fight against water privatization to the national level. The ground experiences from different cities where PPP model of water privatization is being implemented, clearly indicates that there is a template structure and design of water reforms which is being pushed in different cities in India through the JNNURM programme. For example, the Delhi water reforms as implemented in Malviya Nagar, Vasant Vihar and Mehrauli is a carbon copy of the Nagpur model of water privatization. Sometimes even the consultants who get the contract to design the water privatization schemes and the corporations who get the contract to implement the schemes in different cities are same.  It has therefore been decided that it is the right time to form a national platform of groups and activists working against water privatization to help each other and seek strength from each other in this difficult time when the democratic government in the states have been sold out to the corporations.

The National Platform for Right to Water would work on different aspects of water, be it privatization issue, conservation issue, river basin issues or water in the context of climate change or policy issues. However, the fight against any form of water privatization will be the key agenda of the National Platform. The National Platform will try to contact with different groups who are campaigning against water privatization in their cities to come together. We all will share our experiences, documents and strategies to gain strength and knowledge from each other.

So far several groups from around India have become part of the National Platform and in Nagpur, we are expecting that many more groups who are fighting against water privatization will join the platform. In Nagpur, we would try to give a final shape and structure to the platform to begin a concerted and much wider campaign against the water privatization.

The organizers have appealed all the citizens to join the meeting at the Conference Hall,  the Church of North India, Gardiner School Campus, behind Labour Court, Civil Lines, Nagpur and also cover the media briefing at 5 pm, said  S A Naqvi, Jammu Anand, and Afsar Jafri  on behalf of the Organisers, Citizen’s Front for Water Democracy, Nagpur Municipal Corporation Employees Union and Focus on the Global South.