Water for Profit: Experiences from America and India

NMC Employees Union and residents of Nagpur protest water privatisation
NMC Employees Union and residents of Nagpur protest water privatisation

In January 2016, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) Employees Union and residents of Nagpur yet again protested the privatisation of water services in the city. They demanded the remunicipalisation of their water services since the tall claims made by private operator Veolia Water (India) Pvt Ltd of improving the city's water services have failed after its initiation in June 2006 as a pilot programme. 

The key project objectives were:

  • to provide 24x7 water supply at desired pressure,
  • set up 100% meterisation,
  • optimise the unaccounted for water (UFW) losses,
  • create efficient billing mechanisms,
  • reduce consumer complaints and
  • ensure sufficient supply.

They also had to manage the entire water supply cycle including procurement, treatment, storage and distribution. However, reality was very different. Without properly assessing the project outcomes, NMC extended the project to the entire city in November 2011. It signed a concession agreement with the Orange City Water Private Ltd. (OCWL) which is a joint venture of Vishwaraj Environment Pvt Ltd and Veolia Water (India) Pvt Ltd. 

Privatisation of water services is happening at a global level. In some states in America, it has resulted in rising costs of water thanks to poor metering and other quality issues as well. The film titled 'Water for Profit- Experiences from America and India', brings out the common experiences that people have shared due to water privatisation in both countries.



Post By: makarandpurohit