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Khandwa water service development and privatization, India


A project proposed by the Khandwa Municipal Corporation, seeking to augment the quantity of water supplied to the city of Khandwa and in the process partner with the private sector under a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) agreement has been the focus of conflict since its conception in 2007. The decision to augment water supplies was deemed necessary given that the estimated shortfall in water being supplied to the city of Khandwa stood at 11.8 Million Litres per day (MLD) based on the CPHEEO's guideline of 135 litres per capita day (lpcd). This shortfall corresponds to about 63 lpcd of water supplied in the summer months and 97.5 lpcd during the rest of the year. The additional water supply envisioned is to be brought to the city via pipeline from the Chhoti Tawa river, which leads to the backwaters of the Indira Sagar reservoir, approximately 52 kms from the city. In addition to this, Khandwa already receives water from the Bhagwant Sagar reservoir and the Nagchun reservoir as well as groundwater aquifers below.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Khandwa water service development and privatization, India
State or province:Madhya Pradesh
Location of conflict:Khandwa
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific commodities:Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

A large part - Rs. 93.25 crores out of Rs. 115.32 crores, the final approved capital cost of the project - was to be contributed by Khandwa Municipal Corporation, whereas the remaining Rs. 22.07 crores was to be contributed by the private company (Vishwa Infrastructure and Services Pvt. Ltd) through a combination of private equity and debt. This amount, the company expects to recover at an internal rate of return of 12% by recovery of a price per litre of treated water. The project is slated to be built with a capacity to supply 45 MLD (in phases) of water and consists of an intake well, water treatment plant, overhead tanks and distributions pipelines.

Level of Investment:19,175,259.00
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:70,000
Start of the conflict:03/04/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Vishwa Infrastructure and Services Pvt. Ltd (VISPL) from India
Khandwa Municipal Corporation from India
Relevant government actors:Central Government of India, State Government of Madhya Pradesh
International and Finance InstitutionsCorporación financiera Internacional (CFI)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Narmada Jal Sangharsh Samiti (NJSS) i.e. the Narmada Water Struggles Committee which is a forum of local traders associations, the district bar association, pensioners associations and the municipal employees association. Manthan Adhyayan Kendra (
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights
Other socio-economic impactsIncreased financial burden, Loss of community/public water stand posts and hand pumps.
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of alternatives:The local organisations involved have sought for the hiring of the private contractor only on a contract basis to complete construction and that the O&M contract should be repealed. The governments that are already paying the majority of the capital costs should pay 100% of the costs and withdraw the idea of privatisation of water services. The people also want the exploration of alternative more local sources of water. They also demand greater transparency and participation of the people in the process. This in fact is their foremost demand and it is possible that they may be willing to negotiate on other points as long as the municipal government makes the explicit and serious effort to address their concerns.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The final outcome is yet to be seen and the protests against this project are still ongoing.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Conflicts around Domestic Water and Sanitation in India: Cases, Issues and Prospects
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Private Water Supply Augmentation Project in Khandwa- A study of Impacts, Manthan Ashyayan Kendra
[click to view]

International Finance Corporation Projects Database: Funding to Vishwa Infra
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Water Conflict Forum, [email protected]
Last update16/06/2014
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