US Water Trade Mission to India Go Back sign now

After a series of water privatisation programs in Karnataka, the governments of India and the United States hatched a larger plan to convert all our water into a huge profit opportunity. The US Government and a group of American business executives are coming to India on February 28th and in their words, they will be here on a mission to Tap the $50 billion Indian Water Market. That water is a life giver which should be equitably conserved and shared by all life forms and forever could be destroyed because the Americans have other plans. That is to quietly infiltrate our country with the idea that water is a business product just like any other on which America can exercise hegemony.
We have seen enough of this in history. From overt colonisation to subtle policy making for expropriation, from waging of wars to militarisation of globalisation,America and Europe have terrorized the world for the last four centuries with the primary intention of capturing and controlling natural resources. Land, gold, minerals, coal, metals, petrol and every other natural resource that there is, the Americans and the Europeans have pillaged them. Water, because of its cultural, religious and political implications is still largely out of corporate control on a global scale. Well, almost. Currently, our governments are selling out everything on and below the ground for a song. Large scale cutting down of trees, unaccounted lease of mines, millions of hectares of fertile land on a platter for industries destruction of an irreversible kind.

Despite this unprecedented assault on nature, public opinion and common sense are being overwhelmed by a dangerous nexus between politicians, corporate leaders, bureaucrats and foreign governments. Like a vulture that seeks out vulnerability from great distances, US corporate forces with an eye on water have smelt their kill in India and are descending for a feast.

The US water trade mission selected Bangalore as a first destination because the same nexus has been active for a decade and Karnataka is now being promoted as the water privatisation capital of the world. Instead of responding to the basic water needs of people in the state or to conserve water resources, successive state governments from the late 90s have been happily signing up one project after another with international banks and foreign governments to privatise every aspect of their constitutional responsibility of providing clean potable drinking water for all.

International private companies and their consultants in Karnataka directly influence water policy, assess needs, design infrastructure and manufacture public consent. They have taken over the operation and maintenance of water supply in five cities including Mysore, Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum and Gulbarga. None of these decisions are informed, discussed or debated in democratic institutions or in the public realm. Information is suppressed and decisions manipulated.

Government of Karnataka is paying hundreds of crores of rupees to such private companies /consultants and signing agreements that are unduly biased against the public in Karnataka and itself. Like the British East India Company which got all the resources it wanted as well arrogated an illegitimate right to rule and divide the country, the US Water Trade Mission is aimed at complete corporate control over water resources as well as our sovereignty.

The mission statement openly suggests that the purpose of the mission is to expose U.S. firms to Indias rapidly expanding water and waste water market and to assist U.S. companies to seize export opportunities in this sector. The deliberate use of words like - water market, water trade - underlines the intention of transforming our traditional idea of water as a natural resource to that of a product that can be traded or which you access depending on your ability to pay for it.

The idea that the state is a people elected institution for their well being is also being made nonessential.

The mission statement also promises Additional opportunities in providing consulting and design services to the Indian water industry. The Americans want us to believe that it does not rain water but is produced in an industry and that the constitutional responsibility of the state is an industrial activity. It further offers networking opportunities, current market information and a platform for policy discussions with the local Municipal Corporations. The arrogance of the mission rests on its ability to get the Government of Karnataka state to hold water related policy discussions with them. This is also ironic as the state has never discussed such policies with the public.

Clearly, the US Water Trade Mission is a historical event, both for the Americans who want to establish control over our water and for those in Karnataka who want to uphold the character of water as a common good and protect it from being exploited for private profits at the cost of equity, ecological justice and the rights of all peoples - present and future.

We protest this attempt by the Americans. The people of the state have the responsibility to stop them from stealing our water.
We seek the support of all to prevent this loot and profit from 'water trade' through 'water markets', and to send back the US Water terrorists.

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Lillie VaughanBy:
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U S Water Trade Mission to India


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