Privatisation of urban water supply in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh - An update from Manthan Adyayan Kendra
Khandwa is a medium-sized town located in western Madhya Pradesh. The 'Khandwa water supply augmentation project' has been awarded to Vishwa Utilities Pvt. Ltd., a Hyderabad based company under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis for water supply augmentation to the town, for the next 25 years. The project has been under execution since October 2009. The private party would supply water to the town @ Rs 11.95 per KL. The raw water for this would be pumped from a reservoir 51 km, away from the town. This report by Gaurav Dwivedi and Rehmat, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra deals with the privatisation of urban water supply in the town.

Startling conditionalities

Manthan has been studying the project for the last 3-4 years and has been able to bring out startling conditionalities based on which the Khandwa Municipal Corporation (KMC) has signed the concession agreement with Vishwa Utilities Pvt. Ltd. The study Manthan has done in this regard, has been in the public domain for quite some time and can be accessed here

The study and evaluation of the Khandwa Water Supply Project is significant because the Project has been showcased in various circles including at the Planning Commission, as being a successful model of executing PPPs in the water sector. The study reveals that the contract is highly skewed in favour of the private company and through this PPP concession, the water supply and security of the town has been highly jeopardised.

Local citizen opposition

During the past few years of field visits and studies on the Project, we came across a few individuals and groups in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, who are interested in learning and understanding the issues raised by this new private water project. Those were still early days and there was not much talk about this in the town.

However, as the project construction nears completion now, more and more people, citizen groups and local organisations are eager to know more about the project and have become aware of the risks that the project poses to water supply and citizen rights in the town. The project's construction phase is expected to be complete by September 2012, which is a delay of almost 1 year.

Individuals, citizen groups and local organisations in the town are strongly campaigning against the project and the severe impacts it would have on the lives of the local residents. Among these include the local Bar Association, Pensioner's Association, various trader associations, media groups, citizen forums, political representatives, etc.

Manthan has been providing information and support to such groups whenever they require it in terms of technical understanding, financial impacts and social issues related to the project.

Please get in touch with us at or +91 7290 222857, for more information.

Posted by
Get the latest news on water, straight to your inbox
Subscribe Now
Continue reading