24×7 Water news in India – April 2012
Reportedly daily protests in Khandwa, near Bhopal, against the privatization part of a 24×7 plan. Dissent in Mangalore by various groups. Also in Visakhapatnam over plans to close down public taps. Positive article in the Economic Times by the former secretary of the ministry of urban development regarding the potential of PPPs for 24×7 water supply across India.
Surat preparing for 24×7, reportedly planning on providing to recently resettled urban poor first.
Professor Asit Biswas stated, during a visit to Nagpur, that 24×7 water a good solution for “cheap” and “good quality” water (quotes from the ToI article, not necessarily from him). The article also includes more details of the 24×7 project by OCWL in Nagpur, including 30% of pipes to be replaced and supply to 3 lakh (300,000) households. Prof. Biswas also stated huge distribution system losses – citing 60% in Delhi – as the main factor for lack of 24×7.
ToI points out that this time of year in which more consumers in Mumbai complain of water quality problems (the newspaper looked at complaint records, a shockingly low 167 over 3 months in all of Mumbai). BMC states that it is unlikely they will need to cut water supplies this summer because of high enough levels in the source lakes. Hindustan Times reports that the areas from Mulund to Vikhroli are getting 24×7, with it extending to eastern suburbs as of last week and, soon to Ghatkopar and Kurla. I’m still surprised that I’ve seen so few details on how this was implemented (normalization of connections, installation of meters, repairing pipes, etc), but perhaps I just haven’t looked hard enough.