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Mumbai, like most Indian cities, faces a shortage of both potable and non-potable water.
The terms of reference also included a clause stating that Castalia was required to suggest a model which would “end water leakage, pilferage and contamination and subsequently ensure 24x7 water supply through a multinational private operator in K-East Ward.” The assessment study led to the start of a project titled “Pilot Project of Privatization of Water Distribution” in 2006, though widespread civil society resistance caused the project name to be changed to “Pilot Project of Water Improvement” and later to “Water Distribution Improvement Project (WDIP).” This project was to be done in three phases: The WDIP was pitched as a consultative process towards improvement of water supply, in which suggestions of different stakeholders, including residents and the MCGM, were sought.
In order to achieve this, Castalia and MCGM proposed a series of stakeholder meetings. The first was held in May 2006, following which a report was published.
The National Water Policy in 2002 discussed “various combinations of private sector participation in building, owning, operating, leasing and transferring water resources facilities,” thus supporting the privatization of water.
These developments facilitated the grant of approximately 30 million rupees to MCGM to hire international private consultants for water management projects.
After their initial review of the situation, they found that a project of such magnitude, both financial and infrastructural, was not even discussed in the annual session of the MCGM.
Such a discussion is of foremost importance in a democratic governance process.
The grant was given by the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), a multi-donor trust fund originally established by the governments of Japan and the United Kingdom in collaboration with the World Bank.
K-East Ward was selected as the site for the assessment study and pilot project for implementation.
The main objective of this group was to monitor and track the proposed study and project.
The first strategy that the group used was creating political awareness.