|GMDA not to privatise city water supply schemes|
GUWAHATI, April 9 – The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) today assured a group of agitating citizens here that it would not go for privatisation of the city water supply schemes. The group of agitating citizens was led by the nascent Guwahati Sanmilita Nagarik Adhikar Suraksha Mancha.
The chairman and officials of the GMDA, while responding to the demands raised by the Mancha, assured that the damaged roads would be repaired before Bohag Bihu, all information related to the water project would be made available to the Mancha and the GMDA has no plan to privatise the water supply schemes. It was agreed upon that the GMDA will hold a series of consultations with the Mancha while preparing the draft rules on water regulation before submitting them to the Government, said the Mancha in a press release here.
The Mancha, in its memorandum to GMDA chairman Captain Robin Bordoloi, demanded, among others, repair of the roads damaged while laying pipes of the water supply schemes before Bohag Bihu and halt to any pipeline work until the damaged roads are repaired.
It further demanded wider consultations with the citizens in public in regard to the under-implementation project and all information in regard to funds, funding agencies, companies and parties availing contracts and sub-contracts along with their profiles, time-frame for completion of the project as well as proposed service rates, etc. The information related to the above issues should be made available to the public in general and to the Mancha in particular, said the Mancha in its memorandum.
The Mancha also informed the GMDA authority that if it fails to meet the demands of the citizens, it will launch a movement all over the city. The memorandum submitted to the GMDA chairman has also been forwarded to the Chief Minister for information and appropriate action.
The Mancha appealed to the citizens in the city to be vigilant and, if required, come out on the streets to resist the Government’s move to privatise and commercialise water supply in the city. The Mancha has also decided to oppose the hike in urban property tax in Guwahati.
The protest programme was led by Mancha president Dr Hiren Gohain along with its advisers Dhiren Baruah and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, secretaries Dr Akhil Ranjan Dutta and Kamal Kumar Medhi. Members of a number of organisations including KMSS, Save Guwahati Build Guwahati, Senior Citizens’ Forum, Asom Nari Kalyan Samiti, Assam, Provincial Bank Employees’ Association, Guwahati Lawyers’ Association, etc., also took part in the programme, added the press release.