Court orders testing Wasa water from 34 points

Dhaka, May 21 (UNB) – The High Court on Tuesday issued an order to test Wasa water samples from 34 locations in the capital.

The bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam ordered Wasa to provide Tk 1.7 lakh to cover the test expenditure. 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.

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.

They will be tested at icddr,b, Buet’s Bureau of Research, Testing and Consultation, and Dhaka University’s microbiology laboratory.

Before issuing the order, the court heard the expert opinion of Prof Sabita Rezwana Rahman, chairperson of Dhaka University microbiology department.

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.