Dhaka WASA is a role model among the water supply companies of the major cities of South Asia, claimed its Managing Director Taqsem A Khan.
He said, "Today Dhaka Wasa is a role model in water supply in South Asia. In the last few years, there has been no water problem in Dhaka. International organisations, including the Asian Development Bank, have taken Dhaka Wasa as an example in water management in South Asia."
He claimed at a views-exchange meeting at Wasa Bhaban in the capital's Karwan Bazar area on Saturday.
However, despite being the chief of South Asia's water supply role model, Khan advised the Dhaka dwellers to drink water after boiling, although the service providing organisation is supposed to supply pure water.
Khan said, "About 90% to 95% of the water supplied by Wasa in the city is drinkable. But due to the problem in the supply line, 5%-10% of Wasa's water is problematic. It is better to drink boiled water as it is not possible to identify the places where water is becoming polluted."
Citing that it is not possible to drink the water of many houses directly as the water tanks and pipelines of the houses are not kept clean regularly, he said, "The water we supply is completely drinkable, but due to the negligence of the homeowners, Wasa is being blamed. I admit that we are not able to provide pure water to 100% of houses, but we have not received any complaint that there is any problem if this water is consumed without boiling."
Claiming that Wasa's expenditure would multiply 10 times if the water is supplied to the city dwellers after boiling, Khan said, "If a person uses 100 litres of water a day, he drinks only 2 to 3 litres of it. So there is no point in spending so much money, so it is better to boil only the drinking water."
"However, Wasa has already adopted DMA (District Metered Area), a modern system for area-based water supply, in Dhaka city. Out of 145 areas of Dhaka city, 71 DMAs have been set up so far. Work on the remaining DMAs is ongoing and will be completed by June 2023. In case of shortage of water in any area, water will be automatically imported from the surrounding DMA; or if there is a surplus in any area, it will be exported to the surrounding DMA," said the Wasa chief, assuring that water can be drunk without boiling in the areas where DMA work has been completed.
Although the current administration of Dhaka Wasa took over in 2009, in more than a decade it failed to provide 100% safe water to the city dwellers. It also failed to bring all the households under the Wasa sewerage line. However, despite these failures, in annual performance, Dhaka Wasa tops the list of the service agencies of the local government ministry.
Regarding Wasa's sewerage system, the MD said, "Dhaka Wasa has started the implementation of a sewerage master plan in 2016. Work is underway to set up five sewage treatment plants. We are trying to bring 100% of the area of Dhaka city under the sewerage network by 2027."
Among others, the views exchange meeting was also addressed by Dhaka Wasa Director (Development) Abul Kashem, Commercial Manager Uttam Kumar Roy, Secretary Sharmin Haque Amir and Chief Accounting Officer Nishat Majumder.