Privatising water supply is unconstitutional, Rajinder Sachar tells Sheila Dikshit

Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar called on Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday to discuss government proposal to privatise the supply of water in the national capital. Calling the move unconstitutional, Justice Sachar said he was "totally against the idea of privatising what is a citizen's basic right".

Justice Sachar, as patron of the Water Privatisation-Commercialisation Resistance Committee, met Dikshit in her office. "The privatisation of water is unconstitutional since our Constitution gives each citizen a right to live, and water is among the most basic of needs to survive. I am against any idea to charge huge sums of money for water," Justice Sachar told reporters after the meeting.

According to Justice Sachar, there were other options available to make the water supply system more efficient. "The city government has based its model on Patna, but while the Bihar government built new infrastructure, the Delhi government plans to use the existing system," Justice Sachar said.

Dikshit has asked Justice Sachar to meet CEO of Delhi Jal Board Debashree Mukherjee. "Justice Sachar required certain clarifications about this scheme and we asked him to contact the Delhi Jal Board CEO," she said.

Dikshit said the government will go ahead with its proposals. "Privatisation of electricity has proven to be an efficient model and our goal is to provide uninterrupted water supply to everybody in Delhi," Dikshit said. She said initially three localities will come under privatisation scheme and the government was wants to make it feasible in the city.

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