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Karnataka Urban Water Policy and the citizens needs

JNNURM, WB, ADB, Mysore and Bangalore Water Supply:

  • The GoI has been trying their best to promote various forms of delegated water supply management to the private sector  in big and small cities in Indiathrough JNNURM and UIDSSMT
  • As a particular case of Karnataka :: the ADB and the World Bank have been active in influencing policy esp wrt urban drinking water since 1996. A GO by the UDD was passed the same year as a pre-condition of the KUIDP loan which was for Mysore, Ramanagara, Chennapatna

Many people wonder what is wrong with that? Why should politicians and officials not be influenced? After all the IAS have even worked at ADB or World Bank in Manila or Washington So we can adopt the policies dictated  by these banks?

Some people accept that this is what globalisation is all about?

And that is because it is fashionably ideological to view things in a way that corporates are able to : business is the business of business and business cannot be bothered about how business is done.

At least some bureaucrats are enamoured by the above (corporate) ideology of profit but the public DONT AGREE.

The WB and to a lesser extent the ADB also have corporate investors who are companies who keep wanting to profit and therefore also dictate the direction which policy must /could take.

And the same happened in Karnataka as well ! In the year 2000 during the Cong govt's regime two loans KERL I and KERL II were signed, without the contents being revealed publicly. Maybe the officials in the CM's office might have known about it but others did not except WB officials. The World Bank also prepares an Implementation Completion report after their projects. But probably for the first time both for KERL I and II the report was kept confidential

On the other hand there are simple demands from the citizens

  • Predictable QUANTITY and QUALITY of Drinking water supply
  • Predictable timings every day and every week
  • Pre announced timing
  • Accountability of officials with not only wind in the pipes but actually water being supplied
  • Water for all not just for those who can pay
  • Water is an essential need
  • Water should not be for profit for companies

Govt can change the policies with funding from DFID, WSP-SA, WB, and ADB etc but can expensive projects like the one in the case of JNNURM allow for these small demands before misusing  too much money.

The Mysore project according to the timeline was prepared as a normal water supply scheme from MCC and then returned by JNNURM, MoUD to be modified as a 24X7 scheme costing 110 crs more. It was not the MCC which opted for the "world class scheme" but decided to adopt the diktat  of the CSMC and the ADB Jnnurm secretariat. comment guidelines

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