GUWAHATI, March 31 – A citizen’s meeting organised by the voluntary organisation Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) at the Lakhiram Barua Sadan here on Sunday made an appeal to the people to resist the Government bid to commercialise the city water supply system.
The meeting demanded, among others, immediate steps to make public the agreements signed with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), JAICA, JNNURM, Louis Berger Group and IVRCL.
It also demanded that the service of water supply should be declared as a national service and made an appeal to the Guwahatians not to pay municipal tax unless the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) notice issued in 2008 for hiking the municipal tax is withdrawn.
The meeting formed a committee comprising Benudhar Barua, Dhiren Barua, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta as advisors, Dr Hiren Gohain as president, Akhil Gogoi as vice president and Dr Akhil Ranjan Dutta and Kamal Kumar Medhi as secretary to carry forward the future activities on the issues.
Presiding over the meeting, noted critic and columnist Dr Hiren Gohain described the State Government’s bid to commercialise the city water system as anti-constitutional. This goes against the people’s right to live and exposes the anti-people character of the Government, he said.
The new system proposed by the Government will bring an end to the water supply schemes of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation and people will be made to pay against the water being used by them. To asses the amount of water used, meters would be installed against each of the taps.
People will thus be made to repay the huge sums of money borrowed from the financial institutions like the ADB for implementing the water supply schemes now under implementation in the city, he said.