The High Court (HC) has directed Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) to submit a report on what kind of measures it has taken so far to prevent water contamination and what is its future action plan.
The Dhaka Wasa has to inform the court by 2 November regarding its action plan on the prevention of water polltion.
The bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Razik Al Jalil issued the order on Monday after hearing a writ petition filed by lawyer Tanvir Ahmed.
Writ petitioner Tanvir Ahmed said the petition was in the cause list for hearing on Monday after a long hiatus because of Covid-19.
"I told the court what kind of measures WASA has taken to prevent contaminated water, what WASA has done for two years, and what is their future work plan," he said.
After the matter was presented, WASA said they would inform the court by 2 November regarding their course of action.
Following the hearing of the writ petition, the HC on 6 November, 2018, ordered the authorities concerned to form a committee to test the water supplied by Dhaka Wasa.
On 18 April, 2019, the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives formed a four-member committee upon the court's directives. The additional secretary of the Local Government Division was made its convener.
The committee members are Monirul Alam, senior scientist of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Professor ABM Badruzzaman of BUET's Department of Civil Engineering and Sabita Rizwana Rahman, chairman of the Department of Microbiology, Dhaka University.
The ministry submitted the report made by the committee to the court on 7 July, 2019.
That report said eight out of 34 samples in 10 distribution zones of Dhaka Wasa, had bacterial contamination.
In the report, Dhaka Wasa lawyer Barrister AM Masum said, zone-1 sample collected from Patlakhan Lane of old Dhaka showed high levels of bacterial contamination, with total and fecal coliforms as well as E.coli (Escherichia coli).
The Zone-4 sample collected from West Kazipara and Mirpur also had a high level of bacterial contamination by total and fecal coliforms as well as E.coli, the report said.
Interestingly, most types of E. coli are supposedly harmless and even help keep the digestive tract healthy.
Later, on 4 December, 2019, expert opinion on two separate test reports on the water supplied by WASA was submitted to the High Court.
"As per the recommendations of that report, we have gone for correction one at a time," the Dhaka Wasa lawyer said.