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India: Privatisation of water in Delhi

30 October 2012
Delhi has decided to privatize its water distribution network, but opposition is growing. Privatization is unconstitutional and a failed venture, says former chief justice of the High Court.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has approved privatisation of its water distribution network, according to www.dailymail.co.uk

The world's leading operator in water services, French Veolia Water, won the bid to revamp the existing water supply, transmission and distribution network of Nangloi water treatment plant at a cost of Rs 652.32 crore (93,487,800 euros) for 15 years.

The 13-year contract covers an initial two-year construction phase followed by an 11-year operation and maintenance phase.

"Revamping the supply network will be a challenge for the French company as distribution lines don't exist in the Nangloi area. They have to start from scratch to build a strong distribution network. All the assets that Veolia develops will be owned by DJB," Sanjam Chima, DJB spokesperson said to daily mail.

This is third public-private partnership project for the French company in India. It has already been roped in by the Nagpur municipality to manage its entire drinking water service, and Veolia is also building a new Nilothi Wastewater Treatment Plant in Delhi.

In an article in The Guardian former chief justice of the High Court, Rajindar Sachar, says that the privatization is unconstitutional and a failed venture, and that "the whole excercise by the Delhi government is to give exploitive profits to the private party".



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