- Wasa proposes to determining water prices based on area, flat size, tax rate, house rent, people's capacity
- Water prices for low-income people proposed to be cut by 18%
- For the rich, 147% hike in water prices proposed
- Prices will increase by 106% for upper middle-class, 65% for middle-class and 24% for lower middle-class
- 19% price hike proposed for commercial sector
Dhaka Wasa, the organisation that supplies water to about two crore people in the capital, has proposed to determine water prices based on area, flat size, tax rate, house rent, people's capacity, based on a joint research done by Dhaka Wasa and Water Aid.
The price of water per unit has been suggested to be set at a maximum of Tk50 and a minimum of Tk12.50 while the cost of production has been fixed at Tk25 per unit. If this price of the proposed water is fixed, the government will not have to give any more subsidy to Dhaka Wasa.
Dhaka Wasa said that a decision will be taken on the price of water proposed in this study based on the opinions of Dhaka Wasa's Board of Directors and customers.
The proposal was announced at a function at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the capital on Sunday.
Speaking as the chief guest of the programme, LGRD Minister Tajul Islam said the price has not been finalised yet. Board members should review this matter.
The new price proposal proposes to cut water prices by as much as 18% for low-income people. In the case of the rich, the price hike is proposed to be 147%. Prices will increase by 106% for the upper middle class, 65% for the middle class and 24% for the lower-middle class.
Besides, it has been proposed to increase the price of water by about 19% in the commercial sector.
Wasa prepared the proposal by determining the various types of customers in Dhaka and taking into consideration the relevant laws. Under the proposed plan, Dhaka has been divided into 10 zones and 95 areas.
At present, the price of 1,000 litres of water in Dhaka for residential customers is Tk15.18 and Tk42 for commercial customers. Wasa currently spends Tk25 to produce every 1,000 litres of water.
The proposed price would be Tk37.50 per 1,000 litres of water for upper-class residential consumers. According to Wasa data, 0.80% of Wasa's customers in the city belong to the upper class.
The price of water for upper middle class households has been fixed at Tk31.25.
The middle-class people of the capital will get water at the production price. They account for 4% of Wasa's total customers in Dhaka.
For the lower middle class, which accounts for 79.4% of Wasa's total customers in Dhaka, the price is proposed to be Tk18.75, which is Tk3.57 more than the present prices.
Low-income people will have to pay Tk12.5 for the same amount of water.
Commercial customers of Wasa are currently paying Tk42 per thousand litres of water. According to the proposed prices, that will increase by Tk8.
Government institutions would pay the same as production cost, Tk25.
Hasin Jahan, country director of Water Aid, said, "If the cost of production increases or decreases in the future, the price can be modified easily. We have worked with the data of about 42% connection of Wasa in Dhaka. We have found about 12% commercial and 88% domestic tariff."
Dhaka WASA Managing Director Taksim A Khan said that 210-250 crore litres of water is used in the capital every day. Out of this, about 50 crore litres are wasted. If this water was not wasted, the water bill would have been lower.