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LGRD Ministry: Tk75.52 lakh required to test Dhaka Wasa water in 11 zones

  • Published at 08:32 pm May 15th, 2019
Dhaka Wasa Water
File photo: Water safety advocates put bottles filled with water supplied by Dhaka Wasa on display during a public hearing on Tuesday Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

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

The Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Ministry estimates that Tk75.52 lakh will be required to test water from the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Dhaka Wasa) in 11 zones of the capital, Deputy Attorney General Motaher Hossain Sazu told Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday.

Sazu, who received the report with the estimates from the LGRD Ministry, said he would place it before the High Court on Thursday.

Quoting the report, the deputy attorney general said the LGRD Ministry is looking to conduct bacterial tests and physicochemical tests on water samples from 1,056 spots in 11 zones of Dhaka. The ministry will need about Tk50 lakh for the bacterial tests and Tk24 lakh for the physicochemical tests, amounting to a total cost of around Tk75.52 lakh.

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.