i just spoke, rather rambled, to mr samal. could you please speak with him
and decide if any mpisg outputs (esp court orders, CVC references,
Parliamentary Committee assurance, etc) are usable for SUCI future action
programme and, if so, how best we can put these across given the fact that
our strategies are far removed from those widely publicized and debated.
(our DB order on schools we think is very usable but very difficult to use
because all seem bogged down by the quota business).


From: "Rajesh R." <[email protected]>
Reply-To: <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Citizens' Convention
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 11:36:42 +0530

SOCIALIST UNITY CENTRE OF INDIA
DELHI STATE ORGANISING COMMITTEE
3A/38, W.E.A. KAROL BAGH, NEW DELHI - 110005
Telefax: 25726631

 

11th February 2005


Press Release

SUCI To Organise Citizens&#146; Convention Against Problems of Electricity and
Water Supply, Public Transport, Education and Other Civic Amenities

Even as the Delhi Government is engaged in showcasing the capital as a city
of international standards for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, the life of
Delhi&#146;s citizens, especially the common people, is becoming hellish. Due to
increasing tariffs and non-availability of water, power and public
transport, commercialised education and health services, increasing crimes
-
particularly against women, evictions of settlements in the name of
beautification, relentless price rise and growing unemployment, citizens
from all sections of society are suffering. But the focus of the Delhi
Government is squarely on flyovers, roads, Metro, beautification,
privatisation of essential services and endless subsidies and handouts for
private companies, while squeezing the common people through increase in
taxes and charges for even the most basic services like water. This is an
outcome of successive Governments at the Centre and Delhi state pursuing
policies of economic liberalisation and globalisation for the benefit of
the
Indian capitalist class. The basic thrust of Government and civic agencies
is to invite national and international companies to set up offices in
Delhi, and reserve residential areas only for a small number of elites,
while pushing the working people to the periphery to live in sub-human
conditions.

The Delhi Jal Board has recently increased tariffs more than tenfold. Water
treatment has been contracted to multinationals for huge rates of return.
There has been no improvement in the services and large parts of the city
continue to face irregular or no supply. Delhi&#146;s citizens already have the
bitter experience of power privatisation, which was done in the name of
improving efficiency but has only resulted in spiralling tariffs,
fast-running meters, increased power cuts, extortion by private companies
and their contractors and henchmen, and ever-increasing subsidies for
private companies. There is justified apprehension that water supply will
be
privatised in a similar manner with similar consequences. A steep hike in
DTC fares is also on the cards, despite the switchover to much cheaper CNG.
There are plans to further curtail bus services and make them feeders to
the
Metro. This will only add to the transportation costs of citizens.
Similarly, the infrastructure of public hospitals is being deliberately
neglected and high fees and user charges being instituted, thereby driving
citizens to corporate and private hospitals and clinics for expensive,
unregulated and low-quality services. The story of Government schools is no
different - deliberate neglect in order to boost the market for private
schools. Worse, to divert people&#146;s attention from their basic rights as
citizens to public education and health services, the Government is
indulging in gimmicks of a minuscule quota of free beds and free seats in
private schools and hospitals for the `underprivileged&#146;.

While private establishments and powerful religious establishments are
openly encroaching on public land with the connivance of high officials,
the
Government and police are literally waging war against citizens living in
so-called unauthorised colonies and slums, with summary evictions and
fraudulent resettlement. Added to this is the drive against so-called
polluting industries, which has resulted in lakhs of citizens losing their
jobs, even as private builders and land sharks have moved in and taken over
vacated land. Ad-hoc decision-making by the Government in favour of
companies, builders and various private interest lobbies has made a mockery
of Delhi&#146;s Master Plan.

Delhi has become the crime capital of the country and leads in crimes
against women. Not a day passes without news of child rapes, molestation,
torture and kidnapping. Obscenity and vulgarity in the depiction of women
in
the media fuels this trend. Delhi Police has gained notoriety for its high
levels of corruption and connivance with criminals.

The Delhi State Organising Committee of the Socialist Unity Centre of India
(SUCI), is organising a series of public meetings in different colonies of
the capital in order to build up a strong people&#146;s movement against these
burning problems. A signature campaign is also being undertaken against
water tariff hike and privatisation of power. The people are responding to
this campaign very positively. SUCI is therefore organising a Citizens&#146;
Convention, on Sunday, 20th February, from 11 AM at Gandhi Peace
Foundation,
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, ITO, New Delhi. People from various parts of
Delhi
will present their problems and a future programme of action will be
declared.

We appeal to the people of Delhi to make this Citizens&#146; Convention a
success, and lend their support to the ongoing movement.


Issued by

 


Pratap Samal
Secretary, State Organising Committee


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