We want water, pure water: HC

The Daily Star , 24 July 2019

The High Court today directed Dhaka Wasa to supply pure water to residents in the capital.

The Dhaka Wasa authorities have been asked to take immediate steps in this regard.

“We want water, pure water. It is a matter of concern that the water supplied to the residents in some areas is contaminated with bacteria. It will be appreciable if they (Wasa) could solve the problem and ensure supply of safe water,” the HC said.

HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam came up with the remark while hearing a writ petition filed by Wasa seeking time for submitting a report on contamination of water with bacteria in different areas of the capital.

The court fixed July 30 for further hearing on this issue.

Earlier on July 7, the HC ordered Dhaka Wasa to explain why its water was contaminated with bacteria by July 24 (today).

Contaminated Water

According to a report placed by the local government and rural development (LGRD) ministry, the water supplied by four out of Wasa’s 10 MODS Zones and two out of its four source points is contaminated with harmful bacteria.

The report that was placed before the HC through the attorney general’s office on July 7 also suggested taking immediate measures to combat the menace. 

The LGRD ministry tested the water at the laboratories of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka University and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh as per an earlier order of the court. 

The report said out of the 34 samples — three from each of the 10 MODS Zones and one from each of the four source points — eight were found to be contaminated with bacteria.  

Of them, samples from MODS Zone1, 4 and 7 were found to be contaminated with Coliform bacteria which are usually pathogenic in nature and pose an immediate threat to the consumers, the report said. 

Samples from MODS Zone 1, 2, 4 and 7 were found to be contaminated with Heterotrophic bacteria. Similar contamination was found in the samples collected from the two source points — Saidabad Water Treatment Plant and Chadnighat Water Treatment Plant. 

Although these are usually non-pathogenic in nature, the viable threat of harmful bacteria coexisting in this group cannot be ruled out, the report added. 

MODS Zone- 1 covers the areas of East Side of Nababpur road, Bashabo, Gandaria, Jatrabari, Saydabad and Maniknagar. 

MODS Zone- 2 covers the areas of the west side of Nababpur Road, Hazaribag, Nababganj, Nilkhet and Azimpur. 

MODS Zone- 4 covers the areas of Agargaon, Rokeya Sarani, Pallabi Main Road, Gabtali, Beribadh and Pallabi. 

MODS Zone- 7 covers the surrounding areas of Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra (DND) embankment. 

The level of contamination in the abovementioned zones are not equal, the report said, adding that a thorough water monitoring campaign should be conducted in the areas to identify whether there are additional contaminated households. 

It also asked to ensure financial and technical provisions so that water quality monitoring campaigns can be run on a regular basis, and as such, safe drinking water can be ensured for all. 

On May 16, Dhaka Wasa admitted that its water supplied to 57 areas was polluted because of faulty pipes. 

In April, several residents of Jurain appeared at the Wasa Bhaban in Karwan Bazar with lemons, sugar, and a jar of murky water which they said was supplied by the Wasa. 

They tried to make Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A Khan drink sherbet made from the water. 

A few days before that Taqsem said Wasa water was completely safe for drinking.  

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