CM Kejriwal says no to privatisation in water sector

New Delhi :Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said that there should be no privatisation of water, given the experience people have had in power sector in the national capital.

Addressing the government officials during ‘Water Policy Workshop’ at the Secretariat here, Kejriwal said that the private model, which was implemented in the power sector, was very “unfortunate”.

“There should be no privatisation of water in the national capital. I won’t go into whether there should have been privatisation of power or not, but there is a question mark on this model when its audit is being done today.

“Under the model of privatisation (in power), if power companies shell out more money, they then receive 16 per cent more profit. They (power companies) don’t get profit for spending less money, instead they get profit if they shell out more money. It is very unfortunate model,” Kejriwal said.

The workshop was chaired by Kejriwal and hosted by Water Minister and Chairman of the Delhi Jal Board, Kapil Mishra.

The chief minister said that government will, however, continue awarding some works, relating to DJB, on contractual basis, but it should have the ownership of water and its distribution.

“The time has come to decide the works of government and private sectors. Government has some responsibilities it can not run away from them—education, water, health.
“I am not saying that government will not award any work to contractors…government will continue giving some works on contractual basis, but the government should have ownership of water and its distribution,” he said.

He also said, “We cannot say that government is not able to do this work properly and therefore, there should be privatisation and this argument have not been successful in the country.”

As population increases, there will be a huge burden on Delhi to provide water to more citizens with the same input. Since Delhi has no water of its own and has little cooperation from states like Haryana, we have to ensure that we are self-reliant, he also said.

“Rainwater harvesting needs to be promoted on a large-scale with a proper incentive…There is no water plan without the rejuvenation of Yamuna combined with the reuse and beautification of Baolis,” Kejriwal added.

Mishra said that Delhi requires a draft water policy to ensure that we have a comprehensive and unifying approach for water in Delhi.

According to DJB CEO S S Yadav, the water policy draft, which is currently under review with experts, will be thrown open to the public for comments and suggestions, so that the views of people from the ground up can be incorporated, making this document, truly, Delhi’s water policy.