The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has urged the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government to refrain from moves to privatise the drinking water distribution system.

In a resolution adopted at a three-day State convention of the organisation that concluded here on Monday, the pro-Communist Party of India (Marxist) labour outfit alleged moves by the UDF government to start drinking water bottling units in the private sector.

The State government was trying to dismantle the Kerala Water Authority, it alleged.

The CITU also called for linking rivers to help neighbouring States get adequate drinking water. The Pampa-Achencoil-Vaipar link project had been conceived as part of the project, the resolution said.

Accusing the government of making renewed efforts to privatise water distribution from the Periyar and the Malampuzha dam, the CITU alleged that efforts were under way to float a new company under Cochin International Airport Ltd. (CIAL) and distribute drinking water at a price of 25 paise a litre.

The meeting expressed concern over the crisis being faced by the construction sector owing to a steep hike in prices of cement and other raw materials.

The CITU planned to take up the cause of new generation employees working in the information technology sector.

Later, inaugurating a public function to mark the culmination of the meet, CITU national president A.K. Padmanabhan blamed the United Progressive Alliance government for pursuing neo-liberal economic policies which, he said, had made life of the common man miserable.

The two-day nationwide strike planned from February 20 should be a warning to the Union government to refrain from pursuing such ‘anti-people’ policies, he said.