Supply drinking water from Dhaleswari, Padma
A parliamentary standing committee yesterday asked Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) to take measures to bring and treat water of Dhaleswari and Padma rivers for distribution among the city dwellers who have been suffering from acute shortage of drinking water.
The committee on public undertakings also asked the state-run utility service provider for proper testing of drinking water from modern laboratory instead of testing it from the laboratory of the Department of Public Health and Engineering as its laboratory is not a standard one.
"The committee today came to know that Wasa cannot ensure drinking water for more than 80 percent people of greater Dhaka and cannot provide sewerage facilities to most of the city dwellers. Then what is the justification of its existence?" asked Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, chairman of the committee, while talking to reporters after a meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.
"There are some serious inconsistencies in Wasa's activities and its accounts," said Alamgir, a ruling Awami League lawmaker.
He said the committee has asked for reconstituting the board of directors of the state-run organisation to bring dynamism in its activities.
“Wasa's ability to provide water to low-income and slum people is very limited. Its activities in removing waterlogging in the city is also not enough," commented the committee chief.
Besides, Wasa had built overhead water tanks at different areas in the capital which have been proved technically dysfunctional, he said.
The committee has asked Wasa to find out the persons behind the building of those overhead water tanks and take actions against them, said Alamgir.
“We have asked Wasa officials to take measures on a priority basis to ensure drinking water and sewerage facilities for low-income and slum people. If needed, it can set up tubewells to ensure drinking water for them,” he added.
The committee also termed Wasa's bottled water project 'Shanti' unnecessary as it involved illogical and huge expenditure.
"The bottled water project should not be a priority one when it cannot ensure drinking water for a large number of city dwellers," Alamgir added.