The State committee of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), which met here on Sunday, has decided to launch a mass agitation against the proposed Kerala Drinking Water Supply Company and the recent issues in the irrigation and electricity sectors in the State.
LDF convener Vaikom Viswan, addressing a press conference after the committee, which was presided over by Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, said the United Democratic Front (UDF) government was moving ahead with its plans to privatise the drinking water sector at a time when the State was reeling under severe drought and acute drinking water shortage. Though the government said the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) water sources would not be used by the proposed company, indications were that the initial order issued in this regard, which allowed the company to do so, was still the cornerstone for all preparations.
In fact, this G.O. had now nullified the Kerala Water Supply Act of 1986, a statutory Act passed by the K. Karunakaran government, he said, stating that it would mean that the common man would have to pay a heavy price for drinking water. Mr. Viswan also termed baseless a campaign that said the previous LDF government had set in motion the preparations for such a company.
The LDF had initiated steps for a water bottling plant at Aruvikkara under the KWA, which was now put on hold by the UDF. The future of a PVC pipe factory, part of the LDF diversification plans for the KWA, too was in uncertainty now.
At the same time, the UDF government had failed to ensure that the State got its rightful share of 6 tmc ft water from Tamil Nadu. All that it managed was 0.26 tmc ft. The latest electricity tariff hike too was a blow to the public, he said. LDF MPs and MLAs would lead a protest in front of the Secretariat on these issues on May 27, while other public representatives would lead simultaneous protests at all district headquarters.