Campaign against privatisation of water

Campaign against privatisation of water

In a bid to stop water privatisation in all its forms in Karnataka, ‘Namma Neeru’ – a month-long campaign – was launched on Monday.

Freedom fighter H S Doreswamy flagged off the initiative started by a non-governmental organisation called People’s Campaign for Right to Water.  He said privatisation of water is against the Indian Constitution and social justice.

President of the organisation, M R Prabhakar, conceded that privatisation of water can lead to a myriad problems such as drastic increase in water bills, corruption, artificial water crisis among others. 

“Moreover, privatisation is less financially viable than public supply as financing private companies is more expensive than running a public utility,” he added. During the campaign, the members also opposed the move of Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) that recently announced having received a loan of Rs 7,000 crore to promote privatisation of water supply. 

Some of the major demands put forward by the volunteers of the campaign include cancellation of licences given to private companies selling bottled water, enact a new law to provide water security to all residents of the State, provide free lifeline water of 135 litres per person per day, strengthen public water institutions such as the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), Vani Vilas Water Works (Mysore) among others.  

‘Namma Neeru’ was launched simultaneously in Belgaum, Gulbarga, Mangalore, Mysore, Bellary and Hubli districts on Monday. 

The members of the organisation will collect over one lakh signatures from the people across the State and present it to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at the Water Rights’ Convention meeting to be held in the second week of February. 

Writer Banjegere Jayaprakash and Anasuyamma from Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha were also present during the campaign in the City. 

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