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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

On Water

Barely 15 months ago, Uruguay made history with its referendum on the issue of water. The outcome was a first-ever in the world. Close to two-thirds of voters came out in favour of an amendment to their Constitution (now Article 47). One that would assert: "water is a natural resource essential to life." Also that access to water and sanitation are "fundamental human rights." And that "public service of water supply for human consumption will be served exclusively and directly by state legal persons." (Which rules out a private takeover of water.)

Among the many burning issues of the day, is the issue of water. As the referendum in Uruguay showed, there is a very simple way to tackle this problem at its very root. We cannot expect Madame Sonia, or Master Rahul or Sri KamalNath or Mr Jaitley or Missus Sushma or Hon. Arjun Singh to consider this of any importance. Let alone holding a referendum or having MP's support a similar amendment to the constitution. However, the insidious activity of elected hooligans selling off state assets will reach to a point when they will sell off all the water to Bechtel and Haliburton and Coca Cola and whatever. The rivers will be stored in huge concrete dams and sold at a rate of $ per drop. So get the message out to every man in india who drinks water...maybe this can be stopped.

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