Consumers’ Safe Water Movement on Tuesday demanded the resignation of DWasa managing director Taqsem A Khan if he cannot supply safe drinking water in the capital.
They also asked him to apologize for making false statements on the issue of safe drinking water.
The demands were voiced at a public hearing at National Press Club organized by the Safe Water Movement.
Angry consumers requested DWasa not to send bills until it could supply safe potable water to the consumers and they demanded compensations to the consumers who fell sick after drinking or using unsafe water supplied by the water utility.
Speaking at the public hearing, economist Anu Muhammad said that DWasa was more interested to sell bottled water than supplying safe water to its consumers in the capital and Narayanganj.
He said that DWasa implemented a good number of projects with funding from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other lending
institutions on high interests with virtually no positive results.
He said that the massive sums of money the government had spent on DWasa’s bottled water business could be better utilized to supply safe water to the consumers.
He also said that the state-run water utility was more interested to protect the interests of some f business groups and
multinational beverage companies.
He said DWasa’s Tk 6,000 crore project for supplying drinking water from Meghna with funding from the ADB was headed to fail just like its Tk1,500 crore project for supplying drinking water from the Buriganga.
He also said no other country destroyed natural resource like Bangladesh
He asked the government to keep the people informed about foreign investments and follow a transparent policy in this regard.
Moderated by Safe Water Movement organizer Mizanur Rahman, the public hearing was addressed by, among others, Socialist Party of Bangladesh leader Bazlur Rashid Firoz, Communist Party of Bangladesh’s Ruhin Hossain Prince, Bangladesh Institute of Planners general secretary Adil
Mohammed Khan and Supreme Court lawyer Hasnat Kaiyum.
They urged government to ensure the supply of safe drinking water to consumers.
The public hearing was organized 15 days after DWasa’s consumers from Jurain, Shyampur Rampura, Madhya Badda, and Tejgaon held a demonstration in front of the WASA office on April 23 and offered shirbit made of water supplied by DWasa to its managing director after he claimed that DWasa supplied water was 100 per cent safe.
On April 17, a Transparency International Bangladesh report said that at least 91 per cent of DWasa’s consumers burn natural gas worth Tk 332 crore every year to make water supplied by Wasa safe for drinking.
On April 20, DWasa MD rejected the TIB report as ‘unscientific’.
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