Tk 332cr of gas burnt to boil poor WASA water: TIB

Staff Correspondent

17th April, 2019 07:17:54 printer

Tk 332cr of gas burnt to boil poor WASA water: TIB

About 91 percent of households in Dhaka burn gas worth Tk 332 crore for boiling low-quality water of Dhaka Water Supply & Sewerage Authority (WASA), finds a new study.

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) in a study found that 93 percent subscribers of Dhaka WASA have to refine water in different ways. Of them 91 percent households have to boil water using piped gas.

The Berlin-based graft watchdog unveiled the study report styled: ‘Dhaka WASA: Challenge of Good Governance and Way Forward’ at its Dhaka office on Wednesday.

The report went through WASA’s quality of service, grafts, subscriber satisfaction or dissatisfaction, irregularities, limitation and challenges.

It said one-third or 37.5 percent of the subscribers are dissatisfied with WASA’s quality of service, while 20 percent were satisfied and 42 percent were modestly satisfied.

For conducting the study, TIB interviewed 2,768 people at the field level from 10 mods zones of Dhaka city by random sampling.

“It is a matter of concern that WASA still could not ensure production and distribution of safe, sustainable and environment-friendly water and proper sewerage discharge in line with its commitment,” commented Dr Iftekharuzzaman, TIB executive director.

As a result, Dhaka city dwellers are far behind getting expected service from the water and sewerage authority, he said.

As major reasons for the poor quality service, he identified lack of good governance and integrity, and ongoing grafts at institutional, service providing and project procurement levels. 

“Even though there have been some positive changes in WASA’s service, more efforts are needed to advance them,” he noted.

For improving governance and integrity in WASA’s service, TIB came up with a set of recommendations including considering professional experience and education while appointing manpower on contractual basis.

Suggestions also came for appointing neutral persons and setting an age-limit guideline for contractual jobs. Besides, the drainage management should not be kept more than one authority.

Because of lack in sustainable and eco-friendly water production, the number of ground water pumps in Dhaka WASA area nearly doubled to 900 from 482 in last 10 years, the study finds.

Athough there is a target to raise surface-ground water use ratio to 70:30 by 2021, it is still 22:78, which means DWASA is heavily dependent on ground water.

Due to this dependency, ground water level falls by two to three metres every year, while 44.8 percent people don’t get water according to their demand.