Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has come down heavily on the government order forming a CIAL-model company for distribution of drinking water.

In a statement here on Thursday, Mr. Achuthanandan said the formation of the company would spell privatisation of drinking water supply in the State. It would result in gradual de-legitimisation of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA). The Opposition had pointed this out in the Assembly.

Even ruling front MLAs had criticised the move when participating in the discussion on the Water Resources Regulatory Bill. Following this, the House had taken the unusual step of referring the Bill, reported by the Subject Committee, to elicit public opinion. The decision to form the company even after this could only be seen as the result of a conspiracy, Mr. Achuthanandan said.

The Opposition Leader expressed the fear that with the beginning of the company, the focus would shift to provision of packaged water. People who had taken water connections with the KWA would be neglected. This would result in division of water consumers into the rich and the poor, Mr. Achuthanandan said.

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