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21 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Dhaka WASA MD trashes TIB report on drinking water

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

Trashing a recent report by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), the managing director (MD) of the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA), Taksim A Khan, yesterday (Saturday) said the watchdog had prepared the report in an “unprofessional” manner.

At a press conference held at the Sagar-Rooney auditorium of the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU), he also said the report was conducted in a non-scientific manner, which had failed to bring forward the actual facts and figures. For instance, he said the TIB’s claim of Dhaka residents spending Tk. 332 crore on an annual basis to make undrinkable WASA water potable was “totally false”.

He said, “This information is completely hypothetical and unreliable. All the citizens in Dhaka do not drink water by boiling. They do not

even need to boil.”Rejecting the TIB’s study on the wastage of gas, Khan said the manner in which the TIB has done it was not professional research. “The water that we supply is 100 percent drinkable. It is not a professional research report. It didn’t collect data in a scientific way,” he said.

He termed the report “flat and one-sided”. He said, “The way TIB conducted this survey was one-sided and motivated.”

Khan also said, “We maintain the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) standards for water in our pipeline. In some areas, the water gets dirty because of the pipeline.”

Earlier, on April 17, the TIB alleged that about 35 per cent service seekers complain of poor-quality water in Dhaka throughout the year. Gas worth Tk. 332 crore is spent per year by users to make the “undrinkable” water supplied by Dhaka WASA potable.

In a recent report titled ‘Dhaka WASA: Challenges for Good Governance and Way Forward’, the corruption watchdog said in its report that around 62 per cent of service-seekers of Dhaka WASA were victims of some sort of corruption in water supply.

The report said about 86.2 per cent water users gave bribes to WASA staff, while 15.8 per cent users gave bribes to some agents. TIB said as many as 37.5 per cent users expressed dissatisfaction over WASA’s water supply and sewerage treatment services.

The study was carried out using samples collected between April last year and March this year from residential, commercial, industrial and slum areas under 10 WASA zones.

However, Khan claimed that the water from the source to the water reservoir of Dhaka WASA was pure and safe.

He said from November 11 to November 29 last year, 243 samples were collected from 10 different areas of Dhaka WASA. “Then the water was examined chemically and biologically, including for e-coli and coliform. No faecal coliform bacteria was found in the water,” Khan claimed.

In the e-coli examination, it was found that deep tube-well water was 100 per cent, supply line water was 84.38 per cent and reservoir water was 60.28 per cent satisfactory.

The TIB has also alleged that over 62 per cent of consumers faced some sort of corruption.

Rejecting the claim, the WASA MD said, “I don’t know what corruption they are talking about. We have a very well-equipped hotline to receive customer complaints. We also address those complaints accordingly.”

Refuting the allegations made by the TIB against the harassment and corruption of customers, the MD said, “There is no scope for irregularities now because there is the opportunity to apply online to get water connection. All water meters of Dhaka WASA will be automated.”

He also said the operational costs of Dhaka WASA have been reduced by conducting operations, control and monitoring through web and mobile apps by installing a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) in water pumps.

The Dhaka WASA MD also alleged that through this unsubstantiated report, the TIB has tried to denigrate WASA.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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