HC wants test report on Wasa waters in 34 Dhaka city areas
Published : Wednesday, 22 May, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 855
The High Court (HC) on Tuesday directed the government to test the water supplied by Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) after collecting samples from 34 areas of Dhaka city.
The water needs to be tested in the laboratories of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) and Dhaka University, the court ordered.
Water samples will be collected from four sources (underground, surface, Buriganga and Shitalakkhya rivers), 10 distribution zones, 10 risky zones based on customers complaints and 10 randomly picked areas.
The samples will be tested at icddr,b, Buet's Bureau of Research, Testing and Consultation, and Dhaka University's microbiology laboratory.
An HC bench comprising Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam issued the order and also asked Wasa to provide Tk 1.7 lakh to cover the test expenditure as each sample test will cost Tk 5,000. The local government secretary has been asked to collect the money from Wasa.
The bench asked a four-member committee, formed at the court's order to test water, to file a report within July 2.
According to the order, the committee will have to collect and test samples of surface water from Buriganga and Shitalakkhya rivers and water from groundwater sources of the rivers.
Besides, the committee will have to collect and examine samples from 10 vulnerable areas, 10 other random areas, and 10 other areas.
During the hearing, Prof Sabita Rizwana Rahman, head of the Micro-Biology department of DU appeared before the HC bench as per its May 16 order. She told the court that the test report may vary in different seasons.
Advocate Tanvir Ahmed, who filed the writ petition, stood for himself while Deputy Attorney General Motahar Hossain represented the state.
A Wasa report, placed before the court on May 16 by LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry, noted that water supplied by it is contaminated in 59 areas in 10 zones.
Tanvir moved the court after on October 11 last year after a World Bank report said that over 7.5 crore people of Bangladesh drink unsafe water.
The report noted that 41 percent water sources contain harmful bacteria and 13 percent water contains arsenic. It said about 80 percent water supplied through pipelines contains harmful bacteria.
In the following month, the High Court ordered the authorities concerned to form a committee to test Dhaka Wasa water.
The court on May 8 sought a list of areas receiving highly-contaminated water supplied by Wasa. Five days later, the court expressed displeasure as the report was not submitted.
It asked the LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry to file a report within May 15 after fixing the expenditure required to test the water.