Residents of Jurain went to WASA building with '100% drinkable water'
Protesters were in front of the Dhaka Wasa building with the aim of serving the state-run agency's Managing Director (MD) Taqsem A Khan "100% drinkable water."
He, however, "missed" the opportunity to have the water, owing to the fact that he was not in the office at the time.
Police first barred the protesters from entering the Wasa building, but let them in to talk to officials around 1pm on Tuesday.
Mizanur Rahman, a resident of Dhaka's Jurain area—along with his family and friends—gathered in front of the Wasa building around 11am in the hope of meeting the Wasa MD around 12pm.
After not being allowed to enter, they sat on the front steps of the building.
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They brought water, supplied by Wasa, for MD Taqsem to drink, because he recently claimed that Wasa water is "100% drinkable".
“Water we see in the drain is the same as what we have in our water tanks,” said Mizanur, a social worker.
“He said Wasa water is drinkable. That is why we have brought it for him to drink,” he added.
Mizanur said people of Jurain collected signatures of the residents and submitted them to Wasa in 2012, but received no positive response.
Wasa started supplying water to the Jurain area around 40 years ago, Mizanur said.
“However, for the last few years it is totally unusable,” he claimed.
He upheld some of the local demands that include: Taqsem step down from his position as MD and seek forgiveness; bills paid by consumers for using "waste water" be returned; and that no bills be paid until customers have drinkable water.
Responding to a Wasa official that the key problem is in the supply line, Monirul Islam, who came from East Rampura, said: “We fully reject this comment. Does bad smell come from pipes? We invite him for having a meal with us which would be cooked by Wasa water. He has to have it closing his nostrils, it’s our demand.”
Meeting the protesters, AKM Shahid Uddin, Wasa director (technical), around 1pm said they will take necessary steps.
He then said he was sending Wasa officials to the Jurain area immediately.
Reasons behind the alleged contaminated water may be the old supply line.
“Obsolete lines may be the cause. We are changing them one by one,” said Shahid.
Director Shahid provided a number, 16162, to call if people find any problem regarding their water.
He added that the recent spike in diarrhoea cases is not Wasa's fault.
“When temperature rises up to 37° C, production of bacteria increases. This leads to cases of diarrhoea,” he said.