Story Publication logo December 1, 2009

The end of it all?


Media file: water.jpg

In September 2007, the government of Maharashtra, India, invited bids from private companies for the...


Sonali Kudva, Pulitzer Student Fellow

As I finished up with this project, there have been no further developments that I have learnt, on the Nira-Deoghar project.

The water crisis looms large over burgeoning populations in countries like India and China. Privatisation is one way in which the burden of the water supply could be reduced from being only the government's responsibility. Another way I learnt, could be the turning over of the maintenance of the water supply and all that goes with it to those whose lives are entwined with this water supply.

Whether privatization is the solution or not, a change needs to come about to ensure that what has already been constructed is maintained and the interests of the public are kept at the very forefront of all that is decided.

Water is a public resource. All citizens have the right to this public resource. However, the right to access is separate from the ability to gain access. This is at the heart of this issue. The ability to gain access to this public resource needs to be facilitated in a way that it may be somewhat equitably distributed. This process takes time and money. Money is central to the issue of privatization.

There are no easy answers. Money, ambition, power struggles and hidden agendas all vie for attention in this saga. I will wait to see how this all plays out.

In the meantime, I would like to thank the Pulitzer Center of Crisis Reporting for giving me the opportunity to understand some of these issues better.

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