Stalin slams government for water supply contract to French firm

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Chennai, June 25 (IANS) DMK leader M.K. Stalin on Monday slammed the Tamil Nadu government for awarding a 400 million euros project to supply drinking water in Coimbatore to French company SUEZ.

In a statement issued here, Stalin said the AIADMK government has awarded the water distribution system contract for Coimbatore at a time when there is no elected local body.

He said it is the duty of the government to provide clean drinking water to the people.

In February, SUEZ on its website announced that it has got the contract.

Attempts by IANS to contact the Commissioner of Coimbatore Corporation or other officials and also the Indian officials of SUEZ for comments were unsuccessful.

According to SUEZ, the contract from Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation is to manage and operate the water distribution system within the entire city to ensure continuous drinking water access to its 1.6 million inhabitants.

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“The 26-year project, worth near 400 million euros, is the largest water services contract won by SUEZ in India,” the company said.

According to the company, the scope of the contract includes the optimisation, rehabilitation and operation of the entire water distribution system (reservoirs, water network, house connections, water meters, valves) which will cover an area of over 100 km with 150,000 connections and a distribution network of 1,200 km.

The contract also aims to improve customer services with a state-of-the-art customer call centre and customer agencies to ensure personalised service and faster complaints resolution, the company said.

Since winning its first contract in India to improve water supply and distribution services in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar in 2012, SUEZ has secured a substantial market position in India, winning significant contracts for water distribution and services in major metropolitan cities including Bengaluru and Kolkata, the company said.

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The SUEZ group’s activity in India contributes to supplying 5.5 billion litres of drinking water to more than 44 million inhabitants per day.

“Population and urban growth in India, linked with economic development, has resulted in citizens’ new expectations for quality services.

“Our longstanding experience in supplying water to cities such as Algiers, Casablanca and Chongqing, and more recently to Indian cities, enables us to guarantee continuous access to quality drinking water to the population of Coimbatore,” Marie-Ange Debon, SUEZ Group Deputy CEO in charge of international segment, was quoted as saying in a statement.

–IANS

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