WASA boss refuses to drink lemonade made from water

Published: April 23, 2019 21:12:46 | Updated: April 24, 2019 13:53:34

A family from Dhaka’s Jurain came to the WASA office in the capital on Tuesday to offer lemonade made from water supplied by the utility to its Managing Director Taqsem A Khan.

The family from Jurain were protesting against Taqsem’s claim that water supplied by WASA is completely drinkable.

The WASA boss, however, declined drinking lemonade made by someone else.

“No, I won’t drink lemonade made by someone else,” Taqsem said over phone, reports bdnews24.com.

On being asked about the protests on Tuesday, he said the protesters can speak to a director if they have any complaint about filth in WASA water.

Mizanur Rahman, his wife Shamim Hashem Khuki, and their daughter along with their family friend Matiur Rahman started waiting for Taqsem on the stairs of the WASA Bhaban at Karwan Bazar in the morning.

A jug filled with water of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority or WASA, some lemons and sugar were kept ready there to prepare lemonade.

Filth was floating in the water when Mizanur, who introduced himself as a social worker, showed the jug and glass filled with water.

Police had initially barred them saying the WASA managing director was not in the office, according to the family.

 “The water supply pipes of Dhaka WASA in Jurain are 40 years old. We never drink the WASA water but use it for other purposes as we are compelled to do so,” Mizanur told the reporters.

 “This is medium quality water. We get worse than this,” he said, showing the water he brought in the jug from his home.

In 2012, they collected signatures from 3,500 people and appealed to the WASA managing director to supply safe drinking water, according to him.

 “But he never took any initiative and belittled us. How can he say now that the WASA water is pure!

 “We are here to make him drink the water supplied by his agency. It’s a lie that the water is hundred percent drinkable. He should apologise and resign over the statement,” continued Mizanur.

He also said he would not pay WASA bills unless it supplies safe drinking water.

Transparency International, Bangladesh or TIB on Apr 17 said in a report that at least 91 percent households in Dhaka burn 363.7 million cubic metres of gas worth Tk 3.32 billion annually in order to boil the water supplied by the WASA before drinking it.

Terming the study “unprofessional, concocted and a bid to belittle WASA’s image”, Taqsem had said three days later, “Dhaka WASA’s water is 100 per cent drinkable in World Health Organization standard.”

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