Jurain resident Mizanur Rahman, who came under the spotlight following a unique protest against murky Wasa water on Tuesday, alleged that Wasa officials misbehaved with his family members when they went to his residence to collect water samples yesterday.
“You staged a drama. You live in slum areas...steal water. So, it’s simple you will get such water,” Mizanur Rahman quoted one of the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) officials as saying.
The allegation comes a day after the protest where some residents of Jurain brought lemons, a bag of sugar, and a jar of Jurain’s murky tap water to the Wasa Bhaban in Karwan Bazar to “treat” Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A Khan to a glass of “sherbet”.
But the MD, who at a recent press conference said Wasa tap water was “100 percent pure”, did not show up for work on that day.
Contacted yesterday, Taqsem denied the allegations of his officials misbehaving with Mizanur’s family members.
Wasa officials went to their houses just to collect water samples for testing in the laboratories, he said.
The small group of Jurain residents said they had been getting murky and filthy tap water for decades and were surprised over MD Taqsem’s comment about the purity of Wasa water.
Taqsem made the comment at a press conference in response to a report of Transparency International Bangladesh which said 91 percent of Dhaka city dwellers boiled the water supplied by Wasa to make it drinkable.
He told the Daily Star yesterday that their engineers went to the houses of two of the complainants -- Mizanur Rahman and Matiur Rahman -- in Jurain but found the water clean and drinkable.
Taqsem added that one of their engineers even drank the water there in the presence of the complainant’s family members.
The complaints made on Tuesday about the supplied water were false, Taqsem said, adding that the protesters did not even provide Wasa with the addresses of the houses from where the murky water was collected, despite being asked to.
Taqsem said if they had received complaints about contaminated water, they would have taken immediate action, provided they had the addresses and contact numbers of the complainants.
When Mizanur Rahman was asked why he had not provided the addresses to Wasa officials, he said they did not want the house owners to face any problems.
Wasa earlier issued a press statement in this regard yesterday, questioning the purpose of the protest and claiming there was nothing wrong with Wasa water.
The statement said they also sent the collected samples to their lab and would get the results today.