The Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) will provide legal pipeline water services to all of the capital’s slums by 2015, said the DWASA managing director, Taksim A Khan on Tuesday.
Taskim said the Karail slum in Banani would be provided a pipeline water supply first, by December.
“Different international donor agencies and NGOs have been collaborating on the project,” he told reporters.
“We have taken this step to avoid the WASA’s system loss and to resolve the water crisis in the slums. Slum dwellers have been taking water from the WASA’s pipelines by connecting illegal lines,” he said.
The illegal pipelines often leak, wasting valuable water.
The WASA managing director said at present the system loss of water was 25%, caused by leakage and outworn pipes, illegal lines in different residential and commercial areas in the city and illegal pipelines in slum areas.
“We have been trying to reduce the loss to 15%,” he said.
The DWASA arranged an event at its headquarters to demonstrate steps taken for water supply management in the summer, initiatives to resolve water congestion in the monsoon season, preparation of water supply for the upcoming Ramadan and an overview of projects taken in the last three years.
It is illegal to draw water with pumps from the WASA’s pipelines, although most of the homes and apartment buildings in the city are doing so.
“We would not say it is legal. However we are not asking the people who are doing this to stop, because the WASA’s water is not distributed equally. So some people have to draw water with pumps,” Khan said.
“The DWASA’s success is in the quantity of water being supplied,” the director said, pointing out that the DWASA was supplying 2.42bn litres if water where the demand was 2.25bn litres.
“However, we are yet to ensure 100% purity of the water.” Pollutants contaminate DWASA pipelines through leaks and from worn out pipes.
Khan said new pipes were being installed and the work would be completed in two-and-a-half years. “Water quality will improve after that, and there will be no leakages because of new improved pipes.”
Taksim said to prevent waterlogging in the capital, the DWASA has set up drainage pumping stations in Kalyanpur and Dholaikhal. Construction has begun for two high power storm water pumps in Rampura and Kamlapur and all canals in the city have been cleaned to facilitate drainage.