Speakers at a programme on Tuesday held WASA responsible for its contaminated water and urged stakeholders to take stern steps to resolve the issue.
They also condemned the commercialisation of drinking water which is allegedly backed by several developmental organisations.The comments came at a public hearing - 'Safe water: WASA's claim and public experience' - arranged by WASA Safe Water Movement at Jatiya Press Club.
Presided over by Mizanur Rahman, President of WASA Safe Water Movement, the event brought together public figures and affected citizens suffering from the WASA's contaminated water supply.
Jahangirnagar University Professor Anu Muhammad protested false government statement on the city's water supply.
"In different reports submitted to development organisations, WASA has claimed that about 98 percent people in Dhaka consumes safe drinking water supplied by them. Even the 'purest' water supplied by WASA needs boiling before drinking. Then how can it be called safe for drinking?" he asked.
He also mentioned that diseases caused by drinking contaminated water are making citizens' expenditures to go higher.
Anu Muhammad alleged that WASA is spending more money to commercialise drinking water than to decontaminate the supply water.National Freedom Council Secretary Foyjul Hakim Lala said, "The lack of safe drinking water is not only a problem for Dhaka but the whole country is suffering from it."
Public Health Engineer Dr Lenin Chowdhury said Jurain is supplied with the most polluted water within capital.
"Public involvement is necessary to solve the issue," he added.
CPB Central Committee Member Ruhin Hossain Prince alleged that key development projects of ADB, World Bank and other developmental organisations around Jurain area are playing a major role in increasing commercial use of drinking water.
WASA Safe Water Movement President Mizanur Rahman said the state of current water supply from WASA has degraded so much that it remains undrinkable even after boiling.
He referred to the organisation's attempt to make WASA managing director consume juice made with water supplied to Jurain, and said, "The quality of WASA water has deteriorated even further since then."
Mizanur urged WASA authority to resolve the issue swiftly.
In the public hearing, many citizens shared their bitter experiences with unsafe water supply from WASA.
The public hearing put forward a set of demands to WASA including returning the bills paid for contaminated water supply, paying compensation to those who have fallen ill by drinking contaminated water of WASA, and finding out the root cause contamination in supplied water.