February 24, 2011


That was over an hour long discussion with a team of activists led by farmer leader Mr Kodihalli Chandrasekhar. The agitation against the rumors of privatization of water is gaining ground by each passing day for no reasons.  I must have received over thirty emails during the last couple of days in protest against a buzz that a US Water Tech trade Mission is planning to “expose US firms to India’s rapidly expanding water and waste water market and trying to seize export opportunities in this sector.”

The activists submitted a lot of issues in which it was doubted that the Government’s single minded pursuit of corporatization of water is not at all a progressive one. They contend that the Sanitation Policy of 2002, of Karnataka is utterly unscientific which has not considered very fact that it’s the obligation that is a priority rather than the affordability when it comes to governing the water.

The democratic setup gives right to every citizen to raise his voice against any wrongdoings. I have a great respect for these activists for their incessant fights against any omissions and commissions. I have the fullest approval for their claim that water should not in any case be privatized. In fact, I was the one who fought my heart out against the privatization of BWSSB during 2001 when the then Government finally bowed to the pressure and did away with its plans. I am very firm in my belief and it is the belief of my Party too that water cannot in any manner be treated as a product which can be traded. Each drop of water is a valuable asset of the community.

On their issue regarding the visiting US team and the supposedly unscientific water policy of Karnataka, I have finally clarified them the following.

  1. The US team is not coming on our invitation.
  2. I will have a relook at the water Policy of 2002:  and will ensure modifications if necessary are done, with due consultations with all those concerned.
  3. Further, there is a distinct difference between privatization and private participation. The question that if we have to provide the quality service to the Society; we have to be ready for participation from the others as a support to the Government. I asked the visiting team that where to get so much of funds to invest in the water sector.  I am yet to get an answer from them. I know, this privatization word itself is an un-ending debate.

I assure that our Government will never let down the larger interests of the Society, and will never allow anyone to rule the common man.

S. Suresh kumar

February 01, 2011


This week can be termed as Urban Development Department Week. First, there was an international event in MUNICIPALIKA and now a never before award ceremony for the Best Corporations/CMCs/TMCsin the State. This extremely professional event was a very well organized program, and the best ones got their prize. When I conceived this event, my objective was to promote a healthy competition between the local bodies. This has gone well in the procedure. It was a very transparent process, thrust on objective selection of the performers. The whole process was so pressure-delinked, that I didn’t know the names of the winners till they were announced. It’s the case with anyone else. In fact, Mr Krishna Palemar, Minister for Environment who seated beside me enquired, if Mangalore got the prize.

The Officers have worked to my satisfaction and the event was a memorable one. The event was organized in Central College, Jnana Jyothi Auditorium where convocations for the Graduates are held every year. While addressing the gathering of all the representatives from local bodies, I told this was an event of the same magnitude of convocation. While the students are offered medals with a view to instill competition, the local bodies too are offered the awards for their performance.

Facts like how effectively the local bodies are functioning, how effectively they are utilizing and generating the resources are considered while short listing the local bodies for the awards.

Just before the awards were announced, I went back to the mike again and made a tongue in cheek remark, if we need to institute an innovative award from next year for the worst local bodies. Obviously every one stood up to say NO! But I feel, if such an award is instituted, there will surely be a real competition at least not to get to so low!  

Finally, Mysore gets the No 1 Corporation award, while Udupi is No.1 CMC and Kundapur the No 1 TMC.

There was an atmosphere of expectation, jubiliation and an urge to participate more creatively in the future. Yes, I know, each and every local body has to go a long way before getting to the top of the happiness index of the citizen in their respective towns and cities. I also know that for getting to that position, we need to have a mindset changeover of the city administration. 

Todays event is a small beginning but a sure one which I feel has the potential to ignite the urge to perform.