Terming Dhaka Wasa's proposal of tariff hike "unjust and unacceptable", Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) today demanded to set the tariff through public hearing with experts of the concerned sector.
TIB said the proposal was made with the excuse of rising operational costs, implementation of development projects and so on, but is oppressive for consumers and against the existing policy.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman in a statement also said the move is contradictory to the 1996 Wasa Act.
"Despite not improving the quality of tap water, Wasa is imposing their decision on people with the excuse of development costs which will be an extra burden for low-income people," said the statement.
With this proposal, Wasa is acting arbitrarily and in an oppressive manner, TIB thinks.
Amid allegations of poor quality tap water in the mega city, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority has proposed hiking water prices by 80 percent for residential and commercial uses recently.
Wasa has proposed Tk 20 for each unit (1,000 litre) of water for residential use. The existing price is Tk 11.57. For commercial purpose, it has recommended Tk 65 against the existing rate of Tk 37.04.
According to a report of TIB, nearly 45% people in the capital do not get the desired amount of water from Wasa. Besides, about 35% complain of poor-quality water throughout the year while 91% clients of Wasa have to boil the water before drinking, although it is supposed to be safe.
TIB stressed the need for taking opinion of experts and asked to arrange public hearing to improve the service of Wasa by forming a separate regulatory structure and Wasa Board to keep the board influence free.