511 people signed the petition since February 19, 2012
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We the people oppose the draft Indian water policy
and demand its immediate withdrawal
We, the undersigned, citizens of India, strongly oppose the draft Indian national water policy 2012 issued by the Ministry of Water Resources. We maintain that water is a finite resource, which should be carefully conserved and available for use as needed by all living beings now and in the future.
We oppose the introduction of the very concept of water as an economic good. We will strongly oppose the anti constitutional approach of providing water only to those who can afford to pay for it. Water is a commons which cannot be commodified and should not be traded.
It is the responsibility of the government to provide clean and safe drinking water to rural and urban areas. Any attempts to privatise in the guise of public-private partnership, outsourcing of operations and management, or other functions amounts to abdication of this responsibility. In carrying out this responsibility the government should ensure the right to water to every citizen. This right is linked with the right to food (security). Therefore such a right cannot be an outcome of tradeable, competitive economic water rights. The policy should outline various measures to implement the Right to Water, with adequate funding and technology as required. This must lead to improved public health and human well-being.
As an important priority the direct and indirect taxes collected by the Government, should be utilised to provide water as needed for drinking and other uses. These are not to be used for profits to the private sector. The people demand this accountability from the Government to fulfil its responsibility towards the Constitution of India and the citizen.
Indian government is a signatory to the UN General Assembly resolution number 64/292 of 28 July 2010 “Human right to water and sanitation”, approved by 120 countries. This is now legally binding in international law. The UN affirmed by consensus that the right to water and sanitation is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living, as contained in several international human rights treaties in UN Human Rights Council decision of September 28, 2011.
We the undersigned, demand that the government withdraw the draft water policy issued in Jan 2012 and formulate a policy based on the following principles:
1. The government has a responsibility to provide clean and safe drinking water.
2. Public-private partnership, outsourcing of operations and management amounts to abdication of responsibility.
3. The government must commit to time bound assured universal coverage with implementation through democratic elected local governments in urban (ULG's) and Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRI's) in rural areas.
4. The government is to work towards implementing the universal human right to water and sanitation including introduction of legal measures as required.
5. Policy and implementation to ensure that none can be denied water based on lack of affordability.
6. Water is not a commodity and cannot be traded or treated as economic good.
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