Various groups of citizens of Mangalore will raise awareness among people on the proposed move of the State government to privatise water supply in the city.
At a meeting here on Saturday, the groups took note of the decision of the Mysore City Corporation asking Jamshedpur utilities and services company (JUSCO) to stop water supply in that city. “The same company was slated to take up the supply in Mangalore. We cannot allow it here,” said Vidya Dinaker of the Citizens Forum of Mangalore. “We now have better understanding of the ills associated with privatisation of water supply,” she said.
T.R. Bhat, a retired bank official, said that people had to dispel the impression that privatisation of water supply would ensure 24-hour water. “We need to be concerned about how the increase in water charges will affect the poor. We are not sure of the hidden charges that these private water supply companies will impose,” he said. Absence of necessary personnel and water leakage cannot be a reason to hand over the supply to private agencies, he said.
Congress leader P.V. Mohan said that there was a need to raise awareness against privatisation of water among the people. He said a group of like-minded people could go around different wards in the city to meet residents as well as the local councillor and explain the dangers of privatisation.
He said the ward-level youth associations and other citizens groups can also be involved in the discussion.
The former Councillor Lancy Serao said that the city had good water resource. But the Mangalore City Corporation has failed to make beneficial use of the natural resource.
The citizens decided to draft a memorandum that would counter all the reasons that the State government has put forth favouring privatisation of water supply.