by Britt Fremstad
In Ulhasnagar, a suburb 60 km northeast of Mumbai, a large water privatization project is just getting underway. In December 2006 the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) granted a Rs. 94 crore BOT (build-operate-transfer) contract to two Indian companies, Pratibha Industries Ltd and Unity Infraprojects Ltd.(1) The 30-year concession contract will be spilt evenly between the two companies and involves “complete design, development of independent water source, and augmentation of existing water supply scheme up to service reservoirs, [and] operation and maintenance of the scheme.”(2) As with most concession-type contracts, the company’s revenue’s will be derived from its sale of treated water to UMC.(3) The companies intend to supply the UMC with 118 million litres/day of treated water for a rate of Rs. 5.28/m3.(4) (Comparatively, many of Mumbai’s residents pay only Rs. 3.5/m3).(5)
Reclaiming the Commons
by Britt Fremstad
13th August 2008
To cope with the growing needs of the city and ambitions of the elite to make Mumbai a world-class Shanghai-like city, the government of Maharashtra is floating various urban development, urban renewal, and redevelopment schemes. The most recent one is the proposed modification to DCR 33(9) for Greater Mumbai. The intention of this said policy is incentivising redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings / cessed buildings through cluster approach in Urban Renewal Scheme.
I am writing this email to inform you about a historic struggle being waged by farmers belonging to 3 villages in Mahabubnagar district in Andhra Pradesh, against a SEZ (Special Economic Zone) that is coming up on their lands. The state government has forcibly acquired about 1000 acres of land belonging to poor farmers of Polepally, Mudireddy Pally and Gundla Gadda Thanda. All these farmers are illiterate and belong to Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Backward Castes. In short they were the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable sections of our society.
TOWARDS A PEOPLES UNION OF SOUTH ASIA
20 July 2008
The South Asian People’s Assembly (Colombo, 18-20 July) resolves to issue the Peoples SAARC Declaration at this gathering of representatives from SAARC countries.
We, members of social movements, labour unions, women’s groups and civil society organisations have gathered here in Colombo from 18-20 July 2008, as part of the process of Peoples SAARC, to forge a vision for a Peoples Union of South Asia.
Call to the First International Climate Gathering Copenhagen 13 September, 2008 to 14 September, 2008
First international preparation meeting for grassroots mobilizations during the COP 15 Summit in Copenhagen:
Towards climate action in Copenhagen 2009 First international planning meeting
We invite you to join the 1st international planning meeting in Copenhagen from the 13-14th of September 2008. The meeting aims at preparing a large mobilisation for direct action against the root causes of climate change in Copenhagen and throughout the world during the UN climate Conference (30 Nov-11 Dec 2009).
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