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Barlow says water privatisation is failing Indian cities

Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow tweets:

Orange City WaterShe cites a Time of India article that reports, “On Monday, the private water operator Orange City Water Private Ltd submitted the data of water billed in 2013-14 fiscal to Nagpur Environmental Services Limited, [the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s] special purpose vehicle set up to operate and maintain water supply. OCW has billed the citizens for only 208.34 million liters per day out of total supply of 640 [million litres per day]. …This amounts to a whopping 432 million liters each day throughout the year [or 67.50% of the potable water it supplies to the city]. …Nobody knows where the rest of the water is going.”

According to the company’s website, “Orange City Water Pvt. Ltd. is a joint venture of Veolia Water India Pvt. Ltd, the World Leader in Water Business and Vishwaraj Infrastructure Ltd.”

The Times of India article notes, “Leader of opposition group Vikas Thakre has demanded audit of all water projects and ousting of [Orange City Water Private Ltd]. ‘[Nagpur Municipal Corporation] is protecting the private company despite failure. Water crisis has increased since handing over water works to OCW despite more water being supplied’, he said.”

And yesterday it was reported that while it is the responsibility of Orange City Water Private Ltd. to to ensure water supply through tankers free of cost if they cannot make water available through taps, the company and some municipal department officials have been charging for water supply through tankers in network areas.

Nagpur is the largest city in central India and the second capital of the state of Maharashtra. It has a population of about 2.4 million people.