[mpisgmedia] Fwd: Delhi Citizens' Convention on Water, Power Crisis

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  • From: Pratap Samal <[email protected]>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2005 06:45:17 +0000 (GMT)
  • Subject: Fwd: Delhi Citizens' Convention on Water, Power Crisis


Note: forwarded message attached.


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  • From: Pratap Samal <[email protected]>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 13:30:49 +0000 (GMT)
  • Subject: Delhi Citizens' Convention on Water, Power Crisis

SOCIALIST UNITY CENTRE OF INDIA

DELHI STATE ORGANISING COMMITTEE
3A/38, W.E.A. KAROL BAGH, NEW DELHI ? 110005Telefax: 25726631




11th February 2005



SUCI To Organise Citizens? Convention Against Problems of Electricity and Water Supply, Public Transport, Education and Other Civic Amenities



Even as the Delhi Government is engaged in showcasing the capital as a city of international standards for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, the life of Delhi?s citizens, especially the common people, is becoming hellish. Due to increasing tariffs and non-availability of water, power and public transport, commercialised education and health services, increasing crimes - particularly against women, evictions of settlements in the name of beautification, relentless price rise and growing unemployment, citizens from all sections of society are suffering. But the focus of the Delhi Government is squarely on flyovers, roads, Metro, beautification, privatisation of essential services and endless subsidies and handouts for private companies, while squeezing the common people through increase in taxes and charges for even the most basic services like water. This is an outcome of successive Governments at the Centre and Delhi state pursuing policies of economic liberalisation and globalisation
for the benefit of the Indian capitalist class. The basic thrust of Government and civic agencies is to invite national and international companies to set up offices in Delhi, and reserve residential areas only for a small number of elites, while pushing the working people to the periphery to live in sub-human conditions.



The Delhi Jal Board has recently increased tariffs more than tenfold. Water treatment has been contracted to multinationals for huge rates of return. There has been no improvement in the services and large parts of the city continue to face irregular or no supply. Delhi?s citizens already have the bitter experience of power privatisation, which was done in the name of improving efficiency but has only resulted in spiralling tariffs, fast-running meters, increased power cuts, extortion by private companies and their contractors and henchmen, and ever-increasing subsidies for private companies. There is justified apprehension that water supply will be privatised in a similar manner with similar consequences. A steep hike in DTC fares is also on the cards, despite the switchover to much cheaper CNG. There are plans to further curtail bus services and make them feeders to the Metro. This will only add to the transportation costs of citizens. Similarly, the infrastructure of public
hospitals is being deliberately neglected and high fees and user charges being instituted, thereby driving citizens to corporate and private hospitals and clinics for expensive, unregulated and low-quality services. The story of Government schools is no different ? deliberate neglect in order to boost the market for private schools. Worse, to divert people?s attention from their basic rights as citizens to public education and health services, the Government is indulging in gimmicks of a minuscule quota of free beds and free seats in private schools and hospitals for the `underprivileged?.



While private establishments and powerful religious establishments are openly encroaching on public land with the connivance of high officials, the Government and police are literally waging war against citizens living in so-called unauthorised colonies and slums, with summary evictions and fraudulent resettlement. Added to this is the drive against so-called polluting industries, which has resulted in lakhs of citizens losing their jobs, even as private builders and land sharks have moved in and taken over vacated land. Ad-hoc decision-making by the Government in favour of companies, builders and various private interest lobbies has made a mockery of Delhi?s Master Plan.



Delhi has become the crime capital of the country and leads in crimes against women. Not a day passes without news of child rapes, molestation, torture and kidnapping. Obscenity and vulgarity in the depiction of women in the media fuels this trend. Delhi Police has gained notoriety for its high levels of corruption and connivance with criminals.



The Delhi State Organising Committee of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI), is organising a series of public meetings in different colonies of the capital in order to build up a strong people?s movement against these burning problems. A signature campaign is also being undertaken against water tariff hike and privatisation of power. The people are responding to this campaign very positively. SUCI is therefore organising a Citizens? Convention, on Sunday, 20th February, from 11 AM at Gandhi Peace Foundation, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, ITO, New Delhi. People from various parts of Delhi will present their problems and a future programme of action will be declared.



We appeal to the people of Delhi to make this Citizens? Convention a success, and lend their support to the ongoing movement.















Pratap Samal

Secretary, State Organising Committee



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