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Updated: January 22, 2012 01:29 IST

Water Policy draft favours privatisation of services

Gargi Parsai
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For expeditious resolution of inter-State water disputes, the draft policy suggests establishment of a permanent Water Disputes Tribunal at the Centre. Picture shows water gushing out of the Mettur dam. File photo
The Hindu
For expeditious resolution of inter-State water disputes, the draft policy suggests establishment of a permanent Water Disputes Tribunal at the Centre. Picture shows water gushing out of the Mettur dam. File photo

Calls for abolition of subsidies to agricultural, domestic sector

The Union government has begun consultations on a new National Water Policy that calls for privatisation of water-delivery services and suggests that water be priced so as to “fully recover” the costs of operation and administration of water-resources projects, documents available with The Hindu show.

Recently circulated to water experts for consultations, the 15-page draft National Water Policy suggests that the government withdraw from its role as a service provider in the water sector. Instead, it says, communities and the private sector should be encouraged to play this role. The proposals could mean sharp rises in the cost of water for both rural and urban users — an outcome the policy suggests will help curtail misuse of a precious but scarce resource.

The draft policy calls for the abolition of all forms of water subsidies to the agricultural and domestic sectors, but says “subsidies and incentives” should be provided to private industry for recycling and reusing treated effluents. It also proposes that subsidy to agricultural electricity users be curtailed, saying it leads to a “wasteful use of both electricity and water.”

Similar World Bank proposals

In 2005, a World Bank paper made similar recommendations, arguing that “if India is to have sustainable economic growth, the role of the Indian water state must change from that of builder and controller to creator of an enabling environment, and facilitator of the actions of water users large and small.” The paper called for, among other things, “stimulating competition in and for the market for irrigation and water and sanitation services”.

The draft policy calls upon the government to ensure access to a minimum quantity of potable water for essential health and hygiene to all citizens, available within easy reach of the household. Significantly though, it does not suggest that these be turned into enforceable rights through new laws.

For expeditious resolution of inter-State disputes, the draft policy suggests the establishment of a permanent tribunal at the Centre.

In a major departure from the past, the policy also suggests that people displaced by large water projects should be made partners in progress and given a share in the benefits comparable to the project-benefited families. In fact, the policy suggests that the cost of rehabilitation and compensation to the project affected families be “partly” borne by the project-benefited families through “adequate pricing of water.”

Himanshu Thakkar, an expert at the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, said the policy showed the government had been unable to “learn from the past.” “The entire focus should have been on how to sustain groundwater, which is the country's lifeline,” he said.

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We urge only by sitting in the computers but no one will be able to fight against these people when the law is implemented .We pay all the taxes and still pay for their business plans thru toll,mineral water etc etc..., cngress govt knows how to brainwash indian people and we still only fight here in net and sit at home suffering for all that happens around us..

from:  kumar
Posted on: Feb 16, 2012 at 10:04 IST

do not privatize. The water company Suez has aldready diverted Tehri Dam water and sells it to Delhi at more than 10 times the actual cost of Ganga water. Does anyone know this? Why public is paying for our own water. Incorporate water harvesting. This is improve ground water table levels too and help to create watersheds.
Try privatization result will be waterwar similar to Bolivia, South Africa, Chile, Michigan etc.Further results are rise in price, decrease in water quality since private sector is for profits so they make profit from reduced usage of chemicals to treat water. this will increase cost.

from:  gopal
Posted on: Feb 5, 2012 at 03:15 IST

On an issue which is the singularly most important challenge facing India, I have a few questions: Why was the draft Water Policy not circulated for public comment? On what basis were the recommendations made? We are a groundwater civilisation, why is there no discussion on how this resource is to be managed?

from:  Radha Gopalan
Posted on: Jan 25, 2012 at 15:20 IST

Eflluent production should be as low as possible.This should be the
main aim of Industries and NOT producing effluent and then claim
benefits on the same.Fraud is possible here as regards the figures
reported for production and recycling,and thus claim benefits.
Foreign Soft Drink makers should be asked to leave India as there
are any instances where they have proven to be a great nuisance and
"peace breakers'.
Private Industries should be penalized for "producing
effluent".They should NOT be offered any concession whatsoever for.

from:  Sadasivan
Posted on: Jan 25, 2012 at 03:44 IST

Actually nothing is impossible as long as we have a strong leader, a govt/its services to the people can run well if it has a great leader. However do we always need to be dependent on AVATARS? or have a system that can check itself on its own.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Jan 24, 2012 at 20:09 IST

How can any government privatise the water that is natural resource & right of all the individual citizens? When government earns billions of profit by means of natural resources within the teritories of India & through taxation, then why not government bear the cost of basic amenities like water & others like food, health care, education & employment for all citizens of India. These are basic rights of all the citizens, dont you agree???
Even directive principles of our constitution directs government to make sincere efforts to make the nation a welfare state. How can a nation transform into a welfare state when its citizens are too weak to stand on their own feet, they can even purchase food & water for survival, & unaffordable education keeps them unskilled & unemployed & expensive healthcare are out of reach of many? how can India become a welfare estate?

Posted on: Jan 24, 2012 at 00:51 IST

Abolishing water subsidies for agricultural sector will disincentivize farmers. At a time when agriculture is facing a severe crisis and food security is a burning problem, discontinuing subsidies to the sector is not a good idea.However,privatization (which will result in a higher price for water)can prevent wasteful use of water, especially by the domestic sector.

from:  Priya
Posted on: Jan 24, 2012 at 00:14 IST

The world over, the trend is one of re-municipalisation of water supply services where private companies were operating (Paris, Stuttgart, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Dar-es-Salaam) because the model was simply not working. Almost a decade back, Bechtel had to flee from Cochabamba, Bolivia after bloody public protests against tariff hikes. In 2005, the World Bank and the Delhi Government beat a retreat after public outcry against a plan to privatise. The Working Group on Urban Water Supply and Sanitation for the 12th Plan has examined PPP in water supply in India and expressed grave reservations, the lessons from smaller towns like Khandwa and Hubli-Dharwad are alarming. In water-short India, the need is to revitalise public systems and involve the public in conservation. Expensive investments in more and more infrastructure and PPP contracts in the name of 24x7 supply when there is no water at source is a scam. Citizens must organise movements against the draft Water Policy.

from:  Rajesh Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Jan 23, 2012 at 15:38 IST

Most of the comments I have read on this draft water policy reform emotionally questioned the idea but not addressing major point. The vital issues are 1. who are now benefiting from irrigation/water subsidies: poor farms or large farms? 2. what are the possible ways to do reforms? are they pro-poor oriented or not?3. is it beneficial to the overall development of water sector and country.
in these perspective I am agreeing with water reforms but since I have not read the draft formulation don't know about its approach to poor section of the society. But i believe that a pro poor land reforms aiming at higher water productivity and service performance is essential to conserve and sustainable use of this highly depleted precious natural resource

from:  Prakashan
Posted on: Jan 23, 2012 at 14:18 IST

Already Government encourged privatisation including in Education, Health sectors to ruin the wealth of the innocent people. Now the Government decides to sell its all natural resources to businessmen. The Government will face the consequencies shortly.

Posted on: Jan 23, 2012 at 12:25 IST

We wish to inform all those who have commented here and are opposed to privatisation of water that we have already formed a 'Water Privatisation-commercialisation Resistance Committee' with Shri Anil Nauriya a prominent SC lawyer as its President. The Committee is privileged to have Hon'ble Justice (retd) Rajinder Sachar as Special Invitee and a number of prominent social activists and leaders of Delhi Jal Board workers.
Since we do not know how to approach you all we request you to kindly get in touch with us on our email:, General Secretary 9818848753

from:  Dipak Dholakia
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 23:41 IST

we are already taxable for land(habitation). If farmers have to pay for water how can we think about our country's progress as India's backbone of economy is agriculture itself. And don't we have the right to use our owned air, water and land ?

Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 21:09 IST

With Raghuram Rajan as economic advisor to the PM, Montek as Planning Commission head what else can be expected? Private sector has not yet proved itself to provide cheap public services in education and health. Where they have given cheap, they went broke and begged for govt support like in toll roads, STTP, airlines. The so-called minimum entitlement will be difficult to work out, and impossible to operate without the same corruption as we see in the PDS-rationing system or NREGA.Water usage is maximum in agriculture, where bulk of the peasants do not produce surplus for market to cover their cost. High cost water means the poor getting squeezed and water-contractors getting rich. Govt itself has been pushing more water-intensive agriculture thru types of seeds it is encouraging. Less water use, de-salination, ground water recharge, surface water management, recycling and re-use, creating local scale water bodies are important parts of a Water Policy, not mere privatisation.

from:  Vikram Prakash
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 19:40 IST

Where can one get a draft of this bill? Reserving all comments. Incapable of politeness.

from:  Vidyut
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 19:04 IST

This is indeed very precarious move. The basic needs of the citizens
cant be handed over to private owners who only care for profit. Its
seems that the elected Govt is so disabled to protect "Right to Food and
Freedom from Hunger, Clothing and Housing or Shelter".

from:  Gokulakrishnan A
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 17:51 IST

I agree with you Padma,time to show our voice with force may be the words of Mr.JAYA PRAKASH looks harsh but he has a point here which we cannot miss,what are the Governments for then? I join with Padma and Jaya Prakash.

from:  R.Chopra
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 17:48 IST

The govt. is begging for a bolivian style revolution which will be nothing but good. I am glad.

from:  Ramkumar
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 17:06 IST

When are the 99.9999% of Indians ready and willing to OCCUPY INDIA! and bang to rights the 00.0001% treacherous, venal and egregious looters.

from:  rajagopal raman
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 16:59 IST

This recommendation -if implemented-will be the most Retrograde Step Any Democratically Elected Govt.can take. A Government working under democratic System has the RESPONSIBILITY to Provide Water,Roads and Electricity to the People.By Out Sourcing the Most Valuable Natural Wealth to Private Agencies is DEPLORABLE and should be opposed. A Govt.which is giving benefits on Taxation and Industrial Exemptions in thousands of crores has No Moral Right to Hand Over the Most Basic Rights of the People to Private Enterprises.

from:  Ajith Kumar
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 16:57 IST

Agree with the most of the crowd. Water supply privatization very funny. On a lighter note, if this happen, we will see advertisements like "use xyz connection to get water into your home. This water improves your health". Any way we are paying charges for even though bit nominal. what would happen to the people who can't afford water connection to their homes. Will they need to go to watershops? What else expect people to do. In future do they charge for walking on the roads or foot paths if exists. Just privatization doesn't help in wastage of water. Govt has to do some thing constructive to solve this issue.

from:  Santhi Kumar
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 16:44 IST

It is very ridiculous to see the government orientation towards privatisation too much. It is unfortunate to see the words "wasteful use of both electricity and water" for subsidising electricity and water for agricultural use. Then they should also call the "subisidised electricity, water, land and tax holidays for private companies" to establish their plant in our country as waste. It is purely against farmers rights and human rights for water. It is very ridiculous and autocratic activity of UPA government. Already you people have sold everything to private companies in the name of politics of concessions, commissions, corruption etc. Now finally in the name of World bank report (whether the government is selected by indian citizen's are by WB or other international organisations !!!!!!!)they zeroed in water sector that too in agriculture subsidies. It is very unfortunate. We should rise against this issue. Otherwise one day these people will sell everyone of us (even citizens) to some international organisations for the sake of money. Cheep mentality persons.

from:  Senthil Nathan
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 16:38 IST

This policy wont come. Pepsi and coke likes of which control the govt
wont allow this.

from:  ramesh
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 15:45 IST

India is supposed to be a welfare state, as has been enshrined in the part IV of the Indian constitution. But, of late the trend has been one of the withdrawal of government from all the key welfare sectors. Instead of privatizing the water services, the government should try to increase its efficiency in the sector and stop the wastage, through leakage or otherwise, of this precious resource.

from:  Siddharth Tiwari
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 15:40 IST

A script in the making for future water wars!

from:  Raghavendra Adla
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 15:03 IST

The day is not far when these people (so called government) will be calling expression of interest to run this country. They just want to sit in the parliament for increasing facilities/ emoluments for themselves and want to get rid of everything which is for common people whether it's railway/telecom/electricity/water/roads/housing or any other service which affects common people.

from:  Vasudev
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 14:28 IST

Implementing another policy direction of IMF Wold Bank through backdoor
Subsidy to private Cos and charging more on common man. Another act of
GOI like development of Roads by NHAI. WE DO NOT WANT TO ENTRUST

from:  m bhaskaran
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 13:48 IST

It will be like handing the reins of our country to goondas and bribe
givers at the lower end. For the elite, it will be 35rs. per litre sold
through security guard (migrant labour) protected water ATMs. Private
innovation is about lining pockets and not welfare of people. Insane to
even draft such a bill.

from:  sridhar
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 13:27 IST

In many many areas of our country it is tough as it is for poor to get water, just imagine what will happen if corporate vultures were to be given leash of such an important resource. Wrong, I should not call it a resource, its a necessity like no other. Water is life. We knew it even before the times of Indus Valley Civilization and the NASA knows it today: where there is water, there is life. On one hand the government talks about food security for all, on the other, they are planning to privatize water.
My dear fellow citizens, we have to fight this off even with our lives. It should not be allowed to take root in any way no matter how small. Where are the poor going to go and those who earn a little would not also be able to afford it. Anna Hazare, NGOs, Social Groups, everybody: Lets fight for our survival. WE SHOULD FIGHT IT AWAY AND FOREVER. We should force government to make a irrevocable law banning privatization of water in any form. Neither lease sources nor supply.

from:  Mohammed Samiuddin Kashif
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 12:48 IST

If the Government is privatising everything and charge us for public utilities, services, etc. than why they are collecting the 30%-50% duties & taxes on all items + Income tax in your government. We do not where all these monies are being spent.No accountability in this system

from:  SRIRAM
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 12:44 IST

@ Jaya Prakash:-best comments you use using good language to foolish peoples in govt.the words you used perfect.they should hang themself after reading your comment.

from:  Padma P
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 12:33 IST

This move will make things worst in india for sure.Though i agree that we should sustain ground water which is getting scacrce day by day but this move will not help much india because india's agriculture sector largly depend on water, making privatization of water source will increase the cost making it difficult for middle and lower level farmers and there are lots of improvement to be done in the field of irrigation and wataer sanitation which will need government intervention so let this policy be at the moment.

from:  rahul verma
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 12:00 IST

This is again an example of how this government puts the cart before
the horse, defying the logic and common sense and focusing all efforts
on running backwards as fast as possible. I am not sure the thinking
of the government, on one hand they have NREGA another stunted and
retrogade law against sustainable development and on other hand they
want to privatize water management, which is the most basic need of
people. And what else to expect from a World Bank white paper. I can't
imagine what will be the extrapolation of this policy, may be
sunlight... The focus should be to incentivize research by private
sector through philanthropy investment rather than let this important
social need be privatized..there are people who can pay and there are
people who can't pay and you can't apply the logic of pay to use on
this service..going by their logic we should not pay government taxes
as we know they are wasting it ..similar to government's idea..

from:  Manish
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 11:57 IST

After Water Policy Drafted.
Ganges and Mumbai river water and ground Water ->Owner Ril
Krishna-------->Reddy Brothers
Cauvery----------> Bangalore Politican and Tamil Nadu Politicians
Oh forget the electricity ---->Adac group have rights to generate electricity in all waters. Silent Beneficiers->Mr.Singh,Mr.Chidam,
2011- Rice- Rs.32/- /kg After water policy ->Rice 320/- Kg
2011- house hold electricity->max 4 rs. Rs.100/- unit
Effluent treatment plants-> works under full subsidies they are the leaders. Eftp Layman comes only in a helicopter. Because he gets a lakh as salary and 1 crore from industries as speed money. Bislery 1 litre can->Rs.1000/- because they lost bid in waters. Pepsi owns some water ways so pepsi is bit cheap pepsi colo--->1 litre can 100/- only Swiss bank orders for new safe to keep the money from india.

from:  gnansekar
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 11:51 IST

Putting a price on water is essential in the present context to preserve the depleting natural resource. But privatization of the resource without a government check would lead to monopoly as has happened in many other countries.

from:  Susan
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 11:35 IST

but says “subsidies and incentives” should be provided to private industry for recycling and reusing treated effluents. It also proposes that subsidy to agricultural electricity users be curtailed, saying it leads to a “wasteful use of both electricity and water.” ----------------->
People Awake People awake again to put those juggernet heads out of their office and talk with people . They go in a/c cars leave in a/c appartments and drink the bottled water.Come and sit with common people and see who is wasting the scarce resource which is present abundantly.
You give permission to all kind of industries which pollute the water and want to give subsidies to effluent treatment plants if this industries are not present we dont need effluent treatment plants. Understand. We already begging for any thing stop water for agriculture and you also beg for food. We are here to enlighten india not to make starving again. People Awake arise and stop this kind

from:  Manikandanathan
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 11:19 IST

This is another way found out by the pro-liberalized government to collect money for the common man and poor man and pay it to the corporates. It is the duty of the Government to provide basic facilities like water, food, education, health etc. And it the duty of the Government to see that the agriculturalist and farmers are getting enough water for irrigation at free of cost.
The draft National Policy, is similar to the World Bank recommendations. As argued by World Bank, this will not lead to economic growth of common people, rather it will definitely widen the gap between rich and poor. In all schemes there will be a group of direct beneficiaries. It is not fair to collect all cost for building from them. There are more indirect beneficiaries. So it is the state which could bear entire cost and distribute the basic amenities to public. Government should educate people to save ground water protect lakes, irrigation tanks etc.

from:  RAMESH V
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 11:07 IST

Human life has become another commodity, the cost of which is determined
by the market forces. What exactly are governments for? There is
something wrong in our thought processes on economics as a whole. Are we
getting into another era of "survival of the fittest". Communist theory may be flawed in many ways. Yet there was some goodness in the thinking process. "God save this country"

from:  Ramaswamy.A
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 11:04 IST

The government says it for the aam admi and now it is proposing charging heavily for water. Water is a necessity and if the government wants conservation of water then it should limit water delivery to households. Charging high prices for water is not an option. Giving subsidies to water treatment plants in housing societies and making compulsory rain water harvesting like in karnataka will help. Giving water resources to private players is not an option as water is not owned by anyone. The next step would be charging for air?

from:  anna
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 10:54 IST

This is the best and finest way of bringing in more revenues to the government, more over we all know what is the value of water so the draft is absolutely right in charging the consumers and providing benefits for the service providers.

from:  xavier surender
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 10:13 IST

Shame of these governments. What for these governments? If they cannot provide basic facilities to its citizens, what is the purpose of its existence. Why privatisation in this aspect? Once again we will be at the mercy of these Corporates (CO PIRATES - Govt + Corporates).

from:  Bilal
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 10:05 IST

Water privatization will make things worse for India if we fail to learn from the sub-Saharan african and few other western countries. Common man cannot afford to pay water fee. There are number of documentaries made about the ill-effects of handing over water management to private parties. Water is a natural resource and every living organism deserves it and its the duty of the government to ensure every citizen have access to potable water. If the government thinks handing over it to private sector will bring in efficiency they must rethink about it.
There is no documented evidence that argues in favor of privatization - how a private company hungry for profits never worried about sustainability and issues of commoners would think of it as a service. If the government implements it then its a betrayal to millions of commoners. WE DON'T WANT PRIVATE COMPANIES IN WATER SUPPLY.

from:  R K Ponraj
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 09:20 IST

This is worst proposal for india, The corporate and US want to control india by control water, Water not produced by goverment nor private sector nor people, its comes natural , you cant sell it. People have habition near water resources dated 5000 years and more. Congress want to pawn this country, No subsides for people but for private sector! Private sector only purpose is money at all cost, why need subsides. They dont have any obligation to serve people

from:  R Ramesh
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 09:09 IST

A great and a wise move!! I am sure everyone will agree services like these are not the responisibility or work of an elected Government!!They should withdraw themselves from these services and concentrate on Constructive services which will benefit the country and its people like,distribution and retails of liquor shops,bars(ordinary and elite,after all it is a governments responsibility to cater to the needs of both poor and rich!!),lottery, drugs, gambling etc.,!!With a little bit of courage and application they can even try Prostitution!!! GOOD LUCK INDIA!!

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 09:08 IST

Water policy for India will definitely improve the present direction less chaotic situation. We have good rivers with sweet water but polluted because of our ignorance/ callousness of its importance as life saving medium. Flood control is a must if we follow the policy of Sir Arthur Cotton, we can do better.In the recent days we have invented RO /virus free (mostly spurious) bottled water to quench our thirst in urban and rural India! Pollution control boards are useless unless these workers are made to work.Jai Hind !

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 08:00 IST

Water is a national asset that is fast becoming a scarce one in many
places. Don't allocate water management to profit seekers. If Government
want to reduce subsidy, do it by all means and recover cost of water
distribution and management but retain this vital asset in government
sector. This Government is attempting to mortgage the food sector to
MNCs by allowing GM seeds without studying its full impact on
environment and farmer rights. Now citizens may have to buy water from
private companies. What next? The air we breath, perhaps?

from:  V.K.Venugopal
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 07:42 IST

This is a very bad idea. There are certain services that “should” be provided by the government. Water is one of the top ones next only to security and legal services. Government cannot abdicate its responsibility to the private sector. In a country with a large poor and rural population privatizing essential services like water will only lead to “shadow” areas with no service. What incentive will a private company have to maintain and provide water services to remote villages with a small population? If I won the company I won’t do it. This government is trying to sell the country to private companies. These bumps should be sent home.

from:  Soma
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 07:40 IST

Right to water and Air is the fundamental right of all species on the earth. It is therefore surprising to find Manmohan Singh trying to commercialize water resources of the nation and thereby restrict the right of the poor to free access to water. This move should be strongly opposed.

from:  Karan
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 07:30 IST

Dear (Jai Bhim) Comrade Anand Patwardhan, I am yet to get out of the deep impact created by your wonderful docu screened on 20th Jan 2012 at Chennai. Your entire film runs non stop for 3 hrs 20 minutes without any hiccups encapsulating it in an enlivening and awakening series of revolutionary songs. The life of the revolutionary poet/singer Vilas Ghogre who committed suicide due to the depression compounded by the happenings of 11th July 1997 is depicted in all dignity and reverence The second part is truly emotive and heavy.
That the poor dalits so easily forget who were at the helm of affairs of the state of Maharashtra when the above police excess took place is a shocking reminder of the reality. But your hopeful and stirring note of Sheethal's eloquent singing of invoking the name of Babhasaheb Ambedkar not as an incarnation, but a fighting mobilisation gave the necessary feel of apt conclusion of this classic work of yours. Kudos to you, Anand!

from:  S V Venugopal
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 06:28 IST

We should do opposite to whatever WB says.that will be in Our interest.

from:  EAMIN
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 06:16 IST

whole world bank report always wishes every one liberalise their livelihood, so that they can finance air money ,manipulate politics and creat new system where majority of people will be living under slavery law which can be possible with privatisation, the corruption, middlemen,commision,non participation of whole public in decision making process and brainwashing by media will help them to get benefit,,it is highly time for whole public participate in village sustainable development and dnot fell prey to socalled corrupt i m f , and world bank vicious circle which will make whole india new slave to world cartels of financial slavery

from:  bhupinder
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 05:22 IST

Waste not water
Not ever spill it
Water is precious
Water is sacred
The way you use water is the measure of you.
Water is the witness
Water is the judge
Your reputation rests on your careful
use of water

from:  V.S.Venkatavaradan
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 03:35 IST

India would probably go down in the history as a country which fails to learn from the mistakes- it's own and others'. We have seen that the WB formulae do not have roots in the reality and are mostly a failure. We have seen how the Delhi Jal Board privatization was a fraud. The Govt has an exclusive and absolute right to tax the citizens, and the Indian Govt has been literally "exploiting" this to the fullest. Come the budget 2012, the services tax will take the 'negative list' approach bringing almost every service except those like funeral services in the tax net. The Govt has already stopped investing in railways, education, healthcare etc and left these fields open to the private sector regulation, withiut any regulatory oversight worth naming. If the Indian Govt wants to disown their responsibilty in every field, they should stop taxing the citizens. We are proving Churchill right all the way where he said we will be led by the scoundrels.

from:  shailendram
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 03:24 IST

If water is to be priced why "taxation"?Taxing and THEN charging everything,ALSO, without subsidies cannot be tolerated.Why does the Government need Tax if it wants to charge even Water.
To tackle the low ground water levels India needs to Desalinate Sea
Water as it has a huge Coastal area.

from:  Sadasivan
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 03:22 IST

A completely antithetical outcome to the excellent article titled 'An Approach to New Water Policy' (Hindu, 29 Oct, 2010). A mere call to the government to ensure a minimum quantity of water for citizen's needs is the closest the policy gets to in terms of recognizing people. The path to economic exploitation is cleared by pricing the cost of rehabilitation of displaced people into 'adequate pricing of water'! Lacking visionaries, the people (globally) must hope for the quick onset of 'Peak Everything' and/or 'Financial Collapse' to destroy the current economic takeover of the common people, as exemplified by this policy of privatisation and pricing. No Time must be wasted in defeating the policy of commodification of water for economic exploitation, and further, instead, the Responsible, Harmonious, Just and Wise Use of water. My best wishes to all the expected activism and activists!

from:  Arvind R.
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 03:15 IST

Ask Foreign Cos which use many of our resources like Water[the other
is CHEAP LABOUR] to leave India.Not only will this save Water,a precious
life-giving resource but Pollution and Carbon Emission[where are the
Climategate- and Global Warming-chaps?],will be less also. The Right to FREE Water is more necessary than the so called "Food Security Bill" which wants to usher the US GMO Cos and the notorious Codex Alimentarius of the UN in,by stealth,pretending to do "good",to the Indian Public,a good[bad?] old, trick of the Globalists like the World bank,IMF etc etc .

from:  Sadasivan
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 03:14 IST

Fine. The Tax rates are calculated to take care of waterin Plan estimate or Yearly allocations. I guesstimate that it will work about 9% of revenue. If the Central Government washes its hands then I want a pre-commitment by the Government to cut Income tax rates by 3 to 5 % just for this water privatisation policy alone. Tax is not a foregone one-way ticket by Citizens. I want the Government to accept this in principle subject to further calculation, before even taking it to Parliament.

from:  Raj Subramanian
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 03:06 IST

I think it is a 'Montek Proposal'; him having been in the world bank earlier. I really wish, people who decide about privitisation of water have gone through the real troubles of common people and small and marginal farmers facing it on a daily basis. But, NO, these are people who have lived a piped water supply (read supplied with piped policy and guidelines from the time they were born!) all their lives. It is true that large farmers are benefiting from the subsidies. But, have you ever thought of the fact that removing subsidies will just inflate everything else. The large farmers always have a way to get back what they spent, don't they? Instead of removing subsidies, you need to find a way to direct them properly, which unfortunately, none of the governments have ever been able to. The most convenient way is to remove them, but ultimately benefiting only the large farmers and industrialists, who find a way to get a profit off whatever they spend!

from:  Aby
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 02:14 IST

A very dangerous idea for sure. If Govt keep privatizing anything and
everything, then what is Governance for? If Govt keep following the
concepts of World Bank blindly without a well spread transparent
discussion, why do we want policy makers?

from:  Aleen Kalagara
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 01:30 IST

India is now on the merry road to market utopia. Just look what it did to Britain for example. The country has been in decline for the past thirty five years. And its not getting up! (Predatory) capitalism is enabled to buy out the public sector and then the prices are hiked to reap super profits which go to the private owners in obscene bonuses. The railways is another good example in Britain and it was in India that the neo liberal ethos in railways was shattered, to the shame of the world bank, by Lalu Prasad Ji. Privatisation of water will ensure that this valuable resource is denied to the poor and vulnerable to meet their needs.
India needs to learn from the Mercosur countries in Latin America who have booted out the agencies of imperialism - World Bank and IMF - and are prospering. One hopes the people of reason in India will shatter this neo liberal fantasy.

from:  Sohail Zahid
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 01:01 IST

We are trying to follow what west suggests to us. Why we don't have brain. It is common knowledge that whenever you make something as fundamental right there will be misuse of the right/facility. It is our job to train our people not to misuse. It is proper education with moral qualities that prevents misuse of rights/facility. There should be a separate agency to check misuse of water sources and stop it. It is really pitty to see we dont have good leaders in our country to give proper guidance.

from:  T.Subramanian
Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 at 00:58 IST

it'r ridiculous to see government running away from it's each and every responsibility, agreed that the private sector brings in more efficiency but that can never be the reason for the government to run away from it's most basic duties. what remains the purpose of the government then.. let it be totally market driven society.. a total anarchy.. Sick..

from:  Dhiraj
Posted on: Jan 21, 2012 at 23:39 IST

Earlier the poor used to die of hunger, and malnutrition. Now, the upcoming trend in the land of Ganges seems to be that the poor would die of thirst.

from:  Gaurav Dhamija
Posted on: Jan 21, 2012 at 23:36 IST
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