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


D.V.Raghu said...

We know Mr.Suresh Kumarji, will not give any room aganist pepoles requirment,we wish him all sucuess in this water issue.

Puneeth said...

Dear Sureshji,

I congratulate you for initiating the dialogue with various organistaions for clarifying the governements stand on privatistaion of water supply in Bengaluru city.

Sureshji,now the focus of the debate should be
1.Providing clean water to every houshold in Bangaore city
2. Efficient water supply without wastage
3.Water conservation by genuine and sustained effort by every citizen in rain water harvesting and and
4. Also stopping of further ground water depletion

ESG said...

Karnataka Urban Development Minister opposed Water Privatisation, and then retracts:

To press for withdrawing support to the impending Trade Mission (28 Feb-4 March, 2011), Peoples Campaign for Right to Water met with Shri. Suresh Kumar. At that time Shri. Kumar categorically stated that he was opposed to privatization of water, and also asserted that Karnataka Government would never allow commodification and privatization of drinking water. However, Mr. Kumar has later reinterpreted his commitment against water privatization on this blog, by claiming that the Campaign is confused about understanding the nature of privatization of water, and that “there is a distinct difference between privatization and private participation”.

But facts speak otherwise. What emerged in the meeting with Mr. Kumar was that neither he as Minister of the State nor the BWSSB or KUIDFC or any of the other agencies of the State assisting the US Water Trade Mission, had at all been formally approached by the US Consul General or the US Commerce Ministry as per protocol and to seek permission for such a Trade Mission. Mr. Kumar read out an email that had been received only recently by BWSSB where the US Consul General merely intimated the agency of the impending Water Trade Missions, sought entry into various water facilities and meetings with various agencies and local official. If this is not evidence of the scant respect the US Government has demonstrated for a Minister and Government agencies, what is?

Time now for Mr. Kumar to stand up for the people of the State, the Indian Constitution and not bend over backwards in support of the US Trade Mission that has insulted the position of a Cabinet Minister, and thus the State.

ESHA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Esha said...

We have a firm believe on your standing point of not taking any decision toward water privatization

Eswarappa. M