July 6, 2018
COIMBATORE: A large number of DMK workers were arrested on Friday, when they attempted to stage a demonstration against the City Corporation for giving 24 X 7 drinking water supply project to a French MNC.
Even as many political parties and organisations opposed the decision to hand over maintenance of the water supply to Suez of France, DMK workers, led by MLA N. Karthik and former Minister Pongalur N. Palanisamy, numbering over 500 gathered in front of South Taluk office in the city
They raised slogans against privatising the drinking water supply, the basic need of common man and sought to reconsider the decision of giving the contract for the 26 years, for the benefit of the people of the city.
Talking to reporters, Karthik said that he wanted to bring a calling attention motion in the Assembly but was not allowed to speak on the issue.
Besides, DMK had resolved to provide 24 x 7 water to the citizens, when the party was ruling the Corporation in 2008 and sent the proposals in 2011 to the Centre and State Government seeking funds for implementing it, he said.
The decision of giving contract to France firm could be the first by a Corporation in the history of independent India, he said adding that no consultations were made with the elected representatives or the public before taking a decision.
In the absence of an elected local body, the State Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani, in collusion with a few officials, handed over the contract to Suez, Karthik alleged and said the Minister, if desired, could have handed over the scheme to the Corporation itself or TWAD Board.
Amid raising slogans, all the workers were arrested, since there was no permission to organise a demonstration, police said.