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26 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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‘1pc of WASA water used for drinking’

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka

About 99 per cent water of Dhaka Water Supply & Sewerage Authority (DWASA) is used for cleaning, bathing and other purposes, Tajul Islam, minister for local government, rural development and cooperatives (LGRD), said yesterday (Thursday). “Only 1 per cent water is used for drinking purposes,” the minister added. He was talking to reporters at the secretariat after a meeting on preventive role during fire. The minister came down heavily on DWASA’s managing director (MD) Taqsem A Khan’s comments on WASA water being 100 per cent drinkable.

Green activists formed a human chain in front of Karwanbazar WASA building and demanded laboratory test of water in its own lab, and that the test report be published before the public.

“Who will drink the piped water of WASA depends on who will take the risk,” Tajul

Islam said. Citing an example, the minister said: “Workers drink jugs full of WASA water, but never fall sick even in one year.”

The LGRD minister said many were talking about WASA water in recent days.

“I didn’t face any problem in the last seven to eight years. WASA hasn’t failed to supply water to my Dhaka residence. I didn’t even find the WASA water dirty. The quality of water supplied has now improved compared to the last few years. So, it depends whether any one drinks the WASA water directly, or by filtering it, or in any other way,” Tajul Islam said.

The minister said he was a resident of Dhaka and Chattogram and visited many areas of Bangladesh for political reasons.

The LGRD minister claimed that people of America do not drink piped water and instead buy drinkable water from the market. There are arrangements in Singapore hotels too for getting drinkable water supplied, but they also keep water bottles, the minister added.

“We have many construction workers. They stay for one year due to construction work. I have visited the sites and found they drink the supplied water directly. They never fall sick. So, it depends how one drinks the WASA water, directly or not,” Islam continued.

The minister, however, said he had no knowledge if there are separate water supply lines only for drinkable water in any country.

“It is very expensive to supply only drinkable water through separate supply lines maintaining quality. At least Tk. 15,000 crore would be needed in a year,” the LGRD minister said.

The quality of WASA water is fine at its source, Tajul Islam said.

“First we have to detect where the water is contaminated. There are reservoirs in every household in the city. Are these reservoirs maintained hygienically?  If not, water will be contaminated,” he added.

The minister said state-owned organisations must have to accept criticism and they should take steps where there are loopholes.

Poribesh Bachao Andolan (POBA) yesterday formed a human chain in front of WASA building in the city’s Karwanbazar. The speakers alleged that the water supplied by WASA is dirty and has a foul smell. It is unsafe to drink the water.

Citing a recent TIB report, the speakers said 91 per cent city dwellers drink WASA water by boiling it. People have to spend Tk. 36.57 crore for this purpose every year.

The WASA water is being supplied without 100 per cent treatment. As a result, people are suffering from various water-borne diseases.

Green activists demanded that WASA test the water in its own lab and make the report public. Among others, POBA chairman, Abu Naser Khan, Stamford University professor Dr Quamruzzaman and Bangladesh Safe Water Movement president Anwar Hossain spoke on the occasion.

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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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