‘Privatisation of drinking water supply, a wrong move’

The Coimbatore Corporation’s decision to handover the drinking water supply management to a foreign firm was a wrong move, said G. Ramakrishnan, Politburo and Central Committee member of the Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M), here on Tuesday.

There was no formal announcement either by the State Government or the Corporation and the news of privatisation came out in public domain from the foreign firm, Mr. Ramakrishnan told media persons at the party office.

While the advertisement by the government claimed that the contract agreement was for a period of five years, the press release by the private firm said that the contract was valid for 26 years.

No transparency

There was absolutely no transparency in awarding the contract to a foreign firm. When the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board was equipped to handle projects of international standards, it was unacceptable to offer this contract to a foreign firm, he said.

Urging the Centre to pass the Lokpal bill, he flayed the State for resorting to foisting cases and arresting people who voiced their opinion or opposed any project. The actions of the State were proving to be undemocratic.

With Salem remaining connected with Chennai by two highways, the proposed eight-lane highway was not neccessary and that was the stand of the CPI-M, Mr. Ramakrishnan said and added that his party would continue to oppose the project.

In the event of Karnataka approaching the apex court on Cauvery water, the State Government should be prepared to get the services of legal experts to protect the interests of the State, he added.

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