The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has opposed the Andhra Pradesh government’s move to allow the private players to set up reverse osmosis plants in villages for supplying mineral water in rural areas.

The NAPM has expressed concern that the government was opening the door for the private sector to convert water as a commodity in villages. The move, NAPM national convener Medha Patkar said, was aimed at "reversing" the right of the people to get safe and protected drinking water.

Ms. Patkar alleged, at a press conference here on Thursday, the government was working against the spirit of Article 243 of the Constitution and the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments in ignoring the "first right" of the gram sabhas in taking decisions pertaining to the respective villages.

The Congress government, which was celebrating the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi as ‘sadbhavana divas,’ should demonstrate its commitment to the ideals of the late leader by transferring powers to rural and urban local bodies.

She wanted the government to instead concentrate on strengthening the rural water supply wing that could ensure supply of clean and safe drinking water to villages without the need to invest huge amounts. Referring to the cooperative farming proposal of the State government, she said the intent was to promote corporate farming.