GUWAHATI CITY

Access to drinking water a fundamental right: Guwahati Mohanagar Unnayan Samity (MUS)

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, July 27: Reiterating that accessing to pure drinking water for all till 2030 is one of the priorities as determined by the Sustainable Development Goal and Assam Vision-2030, the Mohanagar Unnayan Samity (MUS), Guwahati alleged that the present State regime has been violating the basic rights of the residents of Guwahati by ignoring this concern.

Terming the access of drinking water as fundamental and human rights, the MUS said, “By planning to install 20 Water ATM in and around Guwahati under the Smart City Limited initiative, Dispur is trying to hide the gross failure of not completing the four mega drinking water projects. Instead, the State regime is forcing the residents to purchase drinking water from these Water ATMs which is nothing other than a commoditization of drinking water.”

Talking to the reporters in Guwahati on Friday after staging a protest in front of the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) office, MUS general secretary Biren Sarma said that until the ongoing mega drinking water projects are not completed, the State government should ensure regular supply of drinking water to all the residents of Guwahati from the existing micro water projects run by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), and Urban Development Department (UDD).

Notably, the 107 MLD drinking water project located in South West Guwahati initiated under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was started in 2009. However, there has been unprecedented delay in its completion. So far only 50% of the project is completed. Moreover, other mega projects like the 191 MLD drinking water project located in South Central area of Guwahati which was aided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), started in 2011. The 37 MLD located in North Guwahati also aided by JICA started in 2011 while another 147 MLD located in South East Guwahati was started in 2016 which was aided by Asian Development Bank (ADB). Due to the reasons best known the State government, all of these projects have been left uncompleted in the midst of the progress.
Reportedly, these projects have been crippled with financial anomalies for which it is deserted far away from completion.

Taking a dig at the State government, general secretary of the MUS further said that provision of drinking water 24X7 to all the residents of Guwahati was one of the prioritized poll promise made by the BJP. “However, like the earlier Congress regime, they have failed in fulfilling their promise,” he added. Notably, the MUS also submitted a memorandum to the officials of the GMDA addressing to the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal besides addressing to the Guwahati Development and PHED Ministers while staging the protest.