If you have lived in Chennai, you know the problems with water supply. Due to scarcity in supply, people are forced to buy water from private tanker suppliers who just pump water from some river, lake, or some place you don’t want to know. This water is not treated and is directly sold to the consumer. So long as they do not see any corpses, body parts or dead insects people are happy. In other places people are getting water from borewells and it has its own issues.
Residents of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board Colony, Korattur, have tried to boil the water for drinking. Says G. Janaki, “I boiled the water and allow the sediments to settle at the bottom so that it can be used for cooking. But, it has a metallic taste and an oily substance floats on surface. Vegetables cooked in the water turn dark and unappetizing.”[ It’s no cola, it’s the water supplied in Korattur]
Since everyone is busy trying to establish that Coke has pesticides, impurities in water which is used by all Indians is of no importance. Water is not a good cause to fight for since you cannot shutdown multinationals, shout anti-imperialist slogans and destroy public property. But atleast one town has found an alternative
Factories and homes in one Tamil Nadu town have clean, reliable water supplies for the first time thanks a new private sector plant, but while industrialists are happy, consumer groups are worried.
State-backed, but majority owned by private firms and investors, the water treatment and delivery plant in Tirupur is the first of its kind in a country where almost half the urban population and 87 percent of rural dwellers live without running water.
The plant is operated by Mahindra Water Utilities, a 50-50 joint venture of Mahindra Infrastructure Developers and Britain’s United Utilities. It pumps treated supplies 53 kilometres from the Bhavani river to the nation’s T-shirt capital, Tirupur, source of most Indian knitwear exports.
Before the 10.25-billion-rupees project was completed two months ago, private tanker trucks provided the water, untreated, straight from the river or from wells.[Pioneer private water provider makes waves in India via Globalization Institute]
Since it benefits people, the Left has included it in the issues for it’s national strike.
The protestors will also raise the issues of privatisation of water and power.[Nationwide strike by Left unions tomorrow]
Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your health.