The government is going to hike water, gas and electricity prices soon.
Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority has decided to increase water prices by 5 percent from July 1 while residents in many neighbourhoods have been living with smelly tap water.
Dhaka Wasa ran a newspaper ad yesterday informing the general public that the prices of each unit of water for residential use would be raised to Tk 11.02 from Tk 10.50 while commercial users would have to pay Tk 35.28 instead of the current Tk 33.60.
Rising “production and operational costs” and inflation were the reasons why the decision was made, the ad said.
Water price was hiked by 22 percent and 18 percent for residential and commercial uses respectively last year.
The price of each unit of Wasa water was only Tk 6 in 2009, when the Awami League came to power.
According to section 22 of Wasa Act 1996, the authorities can increase water tariff by 5 percent every year, said a Wasa official.
The latest decision has drawn the ire of many residents, who termed it illogical.
“We have been living with stinky tap water for a long time. Now we have to pay more for this?” Anowar Hossain, a resident of Chamelibagh, told The Daily Star.
He said Wasa must ensure safe water before prices are hiked.
Residents of Mirpur-11, Mohammadpur, Basabo, Kadomtola, Madartek, Mugda, Manda, Gopibagh, Obhoy Das Lane and KM Das Lane have been getting stinky tap water for a long time.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister AMA Muhith has hinted at rising electricity prices.
Appearing in a live TV talk-show, he said on Tuesday night that electricity prices would rise in line with the production costs.
The government has started importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The first consignment reached Bangladesh at the end of last month. The imported gas will be supplied to the national grid by this month.
Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to the prime minister, last month said gas price would also go up.
Gas suppliers have requested Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission for gas price hike. They are seeking a 75-percent increase, from Tk 7.39 per cubic metre to Tk 12.95.
LNG might cost the country about Tk 30 a cubic metre.
The suppliers, however, are asking for increased gas prices only for industries, power stations, filling stations, fertiliser factories, and tea estates.
The commission last raised gas prices by about 22 percent in 2017.
The cost of gas production, without the supplementary duties and other charges, stands at Tk 4.3 per cubic metre. It becomes Tk 9.55 if all charges are included.
Citing energy ministry calculations, an official said the price would be Tk 14.64 a unit when LNG and local gas are blended.
The average retail price of gas supplied by Petrobangla from domestic sources is Tk 7.39 per cubic metre.