The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development (LGRD) and Cooperatives in a report submitted to the High Court on Wednesday said that an amount of Tk 76 lakh is needed to test quality of water supplied by Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA).
Requirement of money has come to the fore of discussion following the High Court order to test quality of water supplied by Dhaka WASA.The ministry said the amount will be required to conduct test 1,064 samples of water supplied by WASA.
Deputy attorney general Motaher Hossain Sazu, who received the report of the ministry, will place it before the concerned bench of the HC on Thursday.
He told reporters that the High Court is likely to pass necessary order on the basis of the ministry’s report.
On May 13, the High Court directed the Ministry of LGRD to submit within Wednesday a report on approximate cost of testing WASA water.
A bench comprising Justice JBM Hasan and Justice Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order following a writ petition filed by a lawyer.
On the day, the High Court expressed dissatisfaction with WASA for its failure to test water in 11 zones of Dhaka WASA.Earlier, Tanvir Ahmed, a lawyer, filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking directive to ensure purity of water supplied by WASA.
He also drew attention of court to a news item that water supplied by WASA in 16 areas of Dhaka, including Jurain, Pallabi, Mirpur, Mohammadpur and Postogola, is not hygienic.
However, Dhaka WASA failed to submit the report asked by the High Court on May 13 and sought more time in this regard.
Allegations against WASA for supplying polluted water in different parts of the capital are longstanding. The water is so contaminated with industrial wastes, chemicals and other effluents that it cannot be treated by WASA, let alone users.
On May 7, speakers at a programme held WASA responsible for its contaminated water and urged the stakeholders to take stern action to resolve the issue.
They also condemned commercialisation of drinking water.
The comments came at a public hearing – ‘Safe Water: WASA Claim and Public Experience’ — arranged by Safe Water Movement at Jatiya Press Club in the capital.
Prof Amir Hossain Khan, chief scientist of Plasma plus Application and Research Laboratory, at a discussion in 2016 said that surface water is extremely precious as groundwater is depleting consistently.
Unfortunately, surface water is being polluted due to excessive use of nitrogen and phosphate fertiliser, he informed.
He opined that organic contaminants, pesticides and heavy metals from industrial and domestic solid and liquid wastes cannot be treated with traditional chlorination and disinfection processes.
He made the claim at a seminar titled “Pollution Profile of Major Rivers around Dhaka” at CIRDAP auditorium in the capital in 2016. As per sources, presently, less than a quarter of Dhaka’s daily demand for 25 million litres of water is met from surface water sources.
Many experts think that the authorities concerned should collect better water from the Jamuna River and other rivers and supply it to the city dwellers after treatment.