The Neerina Hakkigagi Janandolana, Karnataka, has warned the State government against any move to privatise drinking water in the guise of providing 24-hour water supply.
State conveners of the organisation Rajendra Prabhakar and Sitij Urs, and Gulbarga convener Baburao Dandinkar told presspersons here on Thursday that the 24x7 drinking water supply system introduced on a pilot basis in a few wards in Gulbarga, Belgaum, and Hubli-Dharwad was a failure.
Mr. Prabhakar pointed out that at the time of implementation the government promised beneficiaries water at Rs. 30 a month. However, it was now charging at least Rs. 175 a month for those covered by the scheme in Gulbarga. This was the minimum amount, and consumers were levied extra charge based on usage, he said.
Nearly 10 per cent of connections were disconnected owing to non-payment of bills. This was an infringement on the rights of the people over a natural resource, he argued.
Mr. Prabhakar also blamed the government for failing to protect water bodies, allowing a situation where water was scarce and enabling the private sector to exploit natural resources.
In Gulbarga district alone, there were more than 150 tanks that were once drinking water sources. However, most of them had dried up or had been encroached upon.
In Gulbarga city, six of the seven tanks had been encroached upon. The government had made no attempt to clear the encroachment or rejuvenate the water bodies by clearing silt or diverting water from rivers, Mr. Prabhakar charged.
‘24x7 drinking water supply system in Gulbarga, Belgaum, Hubli-Dharwad has been a failure’ Government blamed for not protecting water bodies, leading to water scarcity
‘24x7 drinking water supply system in Gulbarga, Belgaum, Hubli-Dharwad has been a failure’
Government blamed for not protecting water bodies, leading to water scarcity