K-East Ward Mumbai Water Distribution Improvement Project (WDIP): FAQs compiled by CASUMM

K-East Water Distribution Project planned with the agenda of privatisation of water sector

This document by Collaborative for the Advancement of the Study of Urbanism through Mixed Media (CASUMM) provides details about the K-East Water Distribution Improvement Project (WDIP) started in Mumbai, in the form of FAQs.

It argues that the very way in which the project is being planned and implemented, indicates that the agenda of the donor organisations is to gradually push for the privatisation in the water sector.

The document describes:

  • The circumstances under which the project was started and sanctioned in Mumbai: The document provides information on how although the the project was shown to be a public private enterprise, the public sector has been given a minimal or no role in the decisionmaking processes and in the drafting the ToR.
  • The parties involved in the decision making: Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Fund (PPIAF) is a fund created by the World Bank (WB), JBIC (Japan) and DfID (UK) while Castalia, the consultants appointed to conduct the study in K-East ward, have PPIAF connections through previous consultancies. This indicates that all the parties involved in the decision making process are connected to each other and have a common agenda for profit making in mind.
  • Who benefits from the K-East: Although K-East WDIP is claimed to be a project for the citizens and stakeholders, in actuality, it is the private companies that are the ones who benefit from the project since their interests lie more at profit making rather than focusing on accessibility, adequacy and quality of water for all the citizens.
  • The role of consultants in this study: The consultants have a predecided agenda in mind and evidence indicates that rather than providing alternatives to the water problems faced by citizens in the ward, they seem to assume that the only solution to the water problems in the area can be through privatisation of the water sector.
  • The choice of the K-East ward as a pilot: This also seems to be strategic since technologically and infrastructure-wise, K-East is one of the best wards in Mumbai and it is bound to result in successful implementation of WDIP.

The document argues that the implementation of such projects, which are expected to start in other cities in India on a large scale, are fundamentally problematic and that there is a need to involve civil society organisations to question the intentions of international donor organisations, which do not take into consideration the very needs and rights of the users for whom the projects are planned.

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