Mysuru: Commenting on the MCC’s move to privatise the Mysuru city’s water supply network, Bhamy V. Shenoy of Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP), who was in charge of restructuring a gas company in Georgia which had similar problems like Vani Vilas Water Works, told Star of Mysore this morning that he would wholeheartedly welcome the move.
“There is a desperate need to hand it over to a technically competent private company who have the infrastructure, past experience and the technical know-how. The company must also be ethical. The MGP has been advocating this concept of constituting an autonomous body for water supply without any luck for several years. We also know how MCC failed to use the hardware and software investment made by JUSCO. No one has been held responsible for such waste of public funds,” he added.
“The MCC is grossly incapable of managing a highly technical operation like water supply despite having two huge rivers — Cauvery and Kabini — to meet the water needs. Forget 24×7 supply, the MCC cannot even manage water supply to certain areas once in three days. I am glad that the Mayor has thought of handing over the water supply to a private firm like the ones in Bengaluru and Mangaluru,” he said. Companies like TATAs and L&T have the credibility and infrastructure, he added.
“But going by the past experience, I doubt if the MCC will agree for privatisation as it is the same civic body that opposed the setting up of Mysuru Urban Water Supply Board like the one in Bengaluru,” he reasoned.
On the cost factor that is likely to be increased after privatisation, Bhamy Shenoy said that it is high time to form an autonomous body to manage water supply and the pricing. “An independent regulatory body or a commission like the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) can be formed to control the prices. Water supply cannot always be a monopoly. See how professionally the KERC manages the electricity tariff and supply. We need to replicate the model for water supply in Mysuru,” he explained.