'Water security is must to ensure food security'

Activists object to privatisation of water supply

The city government must provide at least 10 kilolitres free of cost ‘lifeline’ water to each household every month under the food security scheme, said the National Platform Against Water Privatisation in the capital on Friday.

A delegation met Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and demanded to include ‘Right to Water’ as an integral part of the Right to Food programme in Delhi under the National Food Security Act, 2013.

“The government must provide a minimum quantity of 70 litres per capita daily (LPCD) free of cost potable water to each household for drinking, cooking, personal and domestic hygienic requirements without discriminating between rich and poor. It will ensure water security under the food security scheme,” read the letter written to Dikshit.

The forum also asked the government to stop privatisation and commodification of water supply in Delhi. “Privatisation or commodification of water is against the spirit of a welfare state. Privatisation of water leads to corruption and makes water a profitable market commodity, which we are experiencing in Delhi. It led to increased financial burden on the people in the form of higher water tariff,” said regional coordinator of NPAWP, Nirmala Sharma.

Private corporations have no social obligation to provide ‘lifeline’ water or set up kiosks, she added. “We firmly believe that food security can’t be achieved without ensuring water security and water security won’t be possible under the privatised system,” she said.

Members of the forum demanded the government to set up water kiosks. “The Delhi government must set up free water kiosks and install stand posts to restore this traditional service to public across the city. These kiosks will be meant for the poor, homeless and other destitute communities as well as those living in jhuggi jhopri and travelling on roads,” said national coordinator of NPAWP, S A Naqvi.
The forum gave a memorandum of demands to the chief minister.

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