The people of Britain are currently facing the problem of water shortage, sewage flow and pipe leaks. It is being alleged that these water traders are making profit by selling water but are not working on the infrastructure related to it.
oi-Sanjay Kumar Jha
‘Privatisation’ has once again returned to the public debate in the country following the revelation that private companies control 72 per cent of water sources in the UK. In fact, Britain’s newspaper The Guardian has made a shocking disclosure, according to which investment firms, private equity firms, pension funds and business houses operating in tax havens have the right to control almost three-quarters of the water in the UK. .
Qatar and Chinese companies also have a share
According to this report, most of the water companies in Britain have now gone into the hands of private companies. Foreign companies have investment in three big water companies in Britain. For example, Qatar Investment Authority has 4.6 shares in a company named Severn Trent. American investment company Blackrock also has a major stake in this company. Is. Similarly, Abu Dhabi Authority has a 9.9 per cent stake in Thames Water. Whereas a Chinese company has 8.7 percent stake in this company. According to the report, Britain’s water sources are occupied by companies from 17 countries.
Water was privatized three decades ago
Let us tell you that water was privatized in Britain about three decades ago. Then it was argued that in the new system common people would be partners in water management. But now its side effects are being seen and in fact it has become a profitable industry. The common people of Britain could not become a part of this, on the contrary, the control of foreign investment firms, super-rich, companies is increasing. In such a situation, there is now opposition to the occupation of private companies on water sources in Britain.
People are suffering due to indiscriminate privatization
In fact, the people of Britain are currently facing the problem of water shortage, sewage flow and pipe leaks. It is being alleged that these water traders are making profit by selling water but are not working on the infrastructure related to it. It is alleged that water traders are not investing enough to provide effective service. People have to bear the brunt of this. Along with this, the environment is also being affected. Sometime back, the court had also imposed a fine of crores of rupees on a company for dumping waste in the river.
Demand to fix accountability of water industry
Dr Kate Bayliss conducts academic research on the ownership structure of the water industry. He told The Guardian that the ownership structure of some companies is so complex and obscure that it is difficult to know who owns them. He said- ‘I talked to some fund managers and they said that you will never know who is the owner. Only the internal officials of the company can know this. According to analysts, there is no possibility that the demand for fixing the accountability of the water industry will reach anywhere in this situation. According to him, Britain is now paying a heavy price for indiscriminate privatization.
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Story first published: Sunday, December 4, 2022, 19:49 [IST]