LGRD Ministry report: Complaints from 59 areas over Dhaka Wasa water
Deputy Attorney General Motaher Hossain Sazu placed the report before the court
Residents of 59 areas under 10 zones of the capital have complained about the quality of water supplied by the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Dhaka Wasa), according to a report by the Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives (LGRD) Ministry submitted to the High Court on Thursday.
Deputy Attorney General Motaher Hossain Sazu placed the report before the court, after it had been submitted to him by the LGRD Ministry on Wednesday.
According to estimates in the report, Tk75.62 lakh will be required to test the quality of Dhaka Wasa water in 11 zones of the capital. The deputy attorney general said the LGRD Ministry will need about Tk50 lakh for bacterial tests and Tk24 lakh for physicochemical tests.
After the hearing on the report, the court summoned Dr Sabita Rezwana Rahman, chairperson of the department of microbiology of Dhaka University, to explain details of water testing procedures on May 21.
Dr Sabita is a member of the committee that was formed by the LGRD Ministry to examine the quality of Dhaka Wasa water, which prepared the report. Other members of the committee include BUET Prof ABM Badruzzaman, and icddr,b scientist Dr Munirul Alam. Local Government Division Additional Secretary Md Zahirul Islam is the convener of the committee.
The ministry submitted the report after the High Court asked the committee formed by the LGRD ministry, to examine the quality of water supplied by Dhaka Wasa, how much the testing would cost on May 13.
On the day, the court expressed its dissatisfaction with Dhaka Wasa for failing to examine water in 11 zones of the Dhaka and Narayanganj city corporations.
The High Court had earlier ordered Dhaka Wasa to submit a report about the cost to test the water of different areas falling under the 11 zones of the city corporations.
Following the court’s order, Advocate Tanvir Ahmed submitted a report before it in the morning along with a report published by Dhaka Tribune.
According to Advocate Tanvir’s report, the water supplied by Wasa to 16 areas of Dhaka— including Jurain, Pallabi, Mirpur, Mohammadpur and Postogola—is unusable.
In a report in April, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said 34.5% of Dhaka Wasa consumers complained of poor quality water throughout the year. The report went on to say that people have to burn Tk3,32.37 crore’s-worth of gas every year to boil Dhaka Wasa water in order to make it consumable.
Dhaka Wasa Managing Director Taqsem Khan has categorically denied the charges, claiming the water is 100% drinkable, but failed to respond to a much-publicized demand for him to drink lemonade made with Dhaka Wasa water.
According to the report, 51.5% of all Dhaka Wasa consumers in Dhaka reported their water supply was visibly filthy, while 41.4% complained their water smelled terrible.
Poor water quality all year round was reported by 34.5% of Wasa users. Water quality was reported to be the poorest in summer with 62.1%, followed by 59.6% in the monsoon, with only 7.5% complaining of poor water quality in winter.