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VAK's Engagement with Water Issues > Publications from VAK

•  The Saga of Plachimada - Dr. P. R. Sreemahadevan Pillai

Transnational corporate intervention with its neo-liberal market driven economic paradigm of social Darwinism has acquired tremendous resource power. And therefore, it commands considerable political muscle power as well. Their predatory method of profit accumulation and political hegemony is detrimental to the interest of the southern countries and the Nation State is no longer treated as a major actor in pursuing socio-economic goals and development with justice and equity for all.

 

One of the emerging crises in India is the right to survival pf a large number of rural poor who derive their livelihood from natural resources- land, water and biodiversity. These natural resources have now become a site of contestation and a major conflict is emerging between the MNCs and community control over natural resources.

 

The Plachimada struggle has become a symbol of people's resistance against the predatory behaviour of these transnational corporations. The dimensions of the struggle are economic, ecological and social. The struggle aims to protect livelihoods, and reject the commodification of water whilst safeguarding the common heritage and natural resources, against the onslaught of economic globalism. These struggles by and large, are guided by a common ideological commitment that natural resources like water belong to the earth and all species for all time and must therefore continue to remain the common property heritage.

 

•  Privatization of Water Supply - A Study on the process of privatization of water supply in K (East) Ward, Mumbai - Arun Kumar Singh

Privatization of water supply is high on the political agenda after the developing countries accepted the GATS, which is one of the corner stones of the WTO regime. Water as a global commodity, aimed at establishing control over natural resources for profit, posits a major paradigm shift in the use and access to these life resources transforming it into an object of trade and commodities with a price determined by the logic of market competition and profit.

 

The World Bank has come out with a National Water Policy in order to operationalise private sector participation and the implementation of this policy in India . The underlying policy assumption is that private sector participation will bring in the much needed financial resources, managerial skills and technology to the water service sector.

 

The World Bank has approved a $325 million loan to Maharashtra for initiating wide ranging water sector reforms in the state. The BMC is in the process of handing over the water distribution to MNCs. Several of them from France , Netherlands , Germany , UK etc have filed for tenders. The World Bank sponsored water privatization project is underway in K-East Ward on an experimental basis. The pilot project includes undertaking feasibility study to determine if the project will succeed in the city.

 

•  King Customer? The World Bank's "new" Water Policy and its Implementation in India and Sri Lanka - Ann Kathrin Schneider & Uwe Hoering

This monograph, 'King Customer', by Ann Kathrin Schneider and Uwe Hoering critically examines the implications of the World Bank's "New" Water Policy in India and Sri Lanka . The Bank's Country Action Strategy paper sets the course towards a fundamental "shift" in the National Policy in the water sector. The basic elements in this policy shift are from supply-driven to a demand-responsive approach, from centralized to a decentralized service delivery, commercialization and cost recovery, competition through privatization.

 

These structural changes fundamentally alter the role of the Government from that of a service provider to that of a facilitator. In a demand responsive system, those who lack socio-economic and political power will be excluded and marginalized. Their needs and demands are not economically relevant in a neo-liberal market driven economic paradigm of Social Darwinism where money and profit determine access to life resources.

 

•  Privatization of Rivers in India - Arun Kumar Singh

The water sector, driven by the logic of neo-liberal paradigm, is increasingly under the domain of the market forces. The World Water Council- made up of the World Bank, the water TNCs and development agencies of the North- through its Water Vision Statement posits a paradigm shift from water as a "common good" to a "tradable" commodity. As a natural corollary to this, the water TNCs directly or indirectly, are plotting to control the world's dwindling water and natural resources by reshaping national policies, reframing national laws and changing institutional structures in Third World countries, to ensure their monopoly over the water market. Its use, supply and distribution is determined by the market principle of profit perpetuate, without question, the inequality in the access to water. This inequality, inherent in logic of the water market, is a curtailment of human rights of a large majority of the people in the world. This approach is in line with the "Second Generation" economic reforms characterized by a shift from trade in goods, to trade in services in compliance with the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) within the WTO regime.

 

Privatization as a solution to the water crisis proposes a model of water management structure that relinquishes all control over water resources to the domain of the market forces and thus marginalizes the role of the state and the rights of communities. The institutionalization of this type of model will inevitably lead to the cartelization of India 's fresh water resources, ecological devastation and social conflicts.

 

•  Quit Plachimada Quit India - The Story of Anti- Coca Cola Struggle at Plachimada in Kerala

The booklet outlines a detailed description of the Anti Coca Cola Struggle at Plachimada in Kerala. It describes the locality and the socio-economic scenario of the area, the role of the State and Central government in the happenings and the ultimate consequences of the activities of the MNC. The booklet also gives a detailed outline of the Plachimada Struggle and the issues the campaign has taken up.

 

•  Water for All- People's Rights to Water (Document and People's Charter)

The document outlines the Charter on People's Right to Water and a document statement on the issues revolving around water and privatization of the natural resource.

 

Facts Against Myths

  • Myths on Environment
  • Myths on Global Warming
  • Myths on Drought
  • Myths on Water Scarcity -I
  • Myths on Water Scarcity - II
For ordering any of the above publications, please contact us

 

Vikas Adhyayan Kendra
D-1 Shivdham, 62 Link Road, Malad (West), Mumbai 400 064 INDIA
Tel : 022-2882 2850 / 2889 8662. Fax : 022-2889 8941
E-mail: vak@bom3.vsnl.net.in