The High Court today wanted to know expert opinions on two separate test reports on the water supplied by Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa).
Terming the test reports as a highly technical matter, the court sent those [reports] to the expert committee formed by the Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Ministry and asked the committee to place their opinions before it by October 23.
The court said that Wasa’s duty is to ensure pure drinking water which is a continuous process.
The HC passed the order and made the observation after Attorney General Mahbubey Alam today placed a test report saying that Wasa’s water at Mirpur and Patla Khan areas is safe.
During hearing a writ petition, the attorney general said samples of Wasa water at Mirpur and Patla Khan areas have recently been tested at laboratories in Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDRR,B) and no harmful bacteria -- like coliform and E.coli -- was found in the samples.
Earlier on July 7 this year, the LGRD Ministry had submitted another test report to the HC saying that the water supplied by four out of Wasa’s 10 MODS Zones and two out of its four source points were contaminated with harmful bacteria.
The report that was placed before the HC through the attorney general’s office on July 7 also suggested taking immediate measures to combat the menace.
The expert committee formed by the LGRD Ministry tested the water at the laboratories of BUET, Dhaka University and ICDDR,B as per an earlier order of the court.
Today, the HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam asked the four-member expert committee earlier formed by the LGRD Ministry to make opinions after examining both the test reports and fixed October 23 for further hearing on this issue.
Following a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Tanvir Ahmed, the HC on November 7 last year ordered the LGRD Ministry to form the four-member committee to test quality of the water supplied by Wasa.
Later on, the ministry formed the committee with the representatives from the ministry, BUET, Dhaka University and ICDDR,B to examine the quality of the water supplied by Wasa.
With the writ petition, Tanvir Ahmed included a recently published report on The Daily Star on October 12 last year.
The report, based on a World Bank study, said 98 per cent of Bangladesh’s people had access to water from technologically-improved sources, but E. Coli contamination was found in 80 per cent of household tap water across the country.