Dhaka WASA plans 20% hike in water tariff

Dhaka Wasa is planning to increase water tariff by 20 percent, only after a month it slapped a five percent increase in tariff. Dhaka Wasa Managing Director (MD) engineer M Raihanul Abedin said, “The Board has approved increasing water tariff by 20 percent and the proposal has already been sent to the LGRD ministry for final decision.” “The Dhaka Wasa Board has the mandate to increase tariff up to five percent annually. The Board increased tariff by five percent in July after three years. But it is not sufficient to meet the expenditure as the salary of Wasa employees were increased by 20 percent,” he said. He said due to frequent power outage, they have to run pumps often by generators, which is contributing to a rise in water lifting cost. However, the decision of increasing tariff without improving the service of Wasa facing systems loss has raised questions. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Chairman Prof Muzaffer Ahmad said, “An organisation needs to tackle systems loss before increasing tariff.” “Wasa should improve its service first,” he said, adding that it should conduct a survey before making such decisions. However, the Dhaka Wasa MD is confident of providing the city residents with better service in the near future. “We shall install more water treatment plants to increase our production. Water supply in the city will improve after implementation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded Dhaka Water Supply Sector Development Programme at a cost of Tk 1,456 crore. Moreover, we shall purchase 75 generators,” he added.

Dhaka Wasa plans 20pc hike in water tariff
Ershad Kamol, The Daily Star, September 18, 2008

Dhaka WASA plans to hike water price
August 7, 2008, Staff Correspondent, NewAge, August 7, 2008. Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority is contemplating increasing the price of piped water by about 20 per cent.? The WASA authorities plan to increase water price came in the wake of increased fuel cost, inflation and to minimise the system loss.?

‘We are seriously thinking of rising the price of water price by nearly 20 per cent and will make a proposal in this regard to the ministry soon,’ Abdullah Haroon Pasha, chairman of Dhaka WASA, told a seminar, styled ‘Integrated management of urban water cycle: Singapore’s experience’ organised by the Dhaka WASA in its conference room.?

Shaikh Khurshid Alam, secretary of local government division of the LGRD ministry, was present as the chief guest at the seminar presided over by Haroon Pasha.? Justifying his proposal to hike the price of water, Haroon said the increase would make the people cautious about proper use of water and help further reduction in the system loss.?

He said the system loss of the water supply agency had come down to less than 35 per cent from 45 per cent in 2005.? The Dhaka WASA claims that it supplies an estimated 180 crore litres of water a day against the demand of more than 200 crore litres for domestic as well as industrial consumption.? The domestic consumers are now paying Tk 5.50 per thousand litres and the commercial and industrial consumers pay Tk 18.25 for the same.?

An official of the utility service agency said there would be more than 3 lakh holdings under the Dhaka City Corporation of which only 2.55 lakh are authorised consumers.? ‘The Dhaka WASA is able to collect less than 60 per cent price of its total supplied water due to huge number of unauthorised connections,’ the official added.? He said the Dhaka WASA could not afford waiting for raising the price of piped water as it had to keep pace with the increased fuel cost as well as the increase in inflation.?

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority as well as experts asked the government to take immediate and realistic steps to make the alternative sources of water useable to mitigate the water crisis of the capital.? ‘The government should take immediate measures to use the alternative sources of water like rainwater, constructing sufficient water reservoir around the capital and setting up of wastewater and effluent treatment plants,’ the Dhaka WASA managing director, Raihanul Abedin, said while presenting the keynote paper in the seminar.?

‘The groundwater level has been dropping alarmingly in the city due to excessive dependence on it. Currently, 86 per cent of total water is coming from the groundwater,’ Abedin said, adding, ‘The groundwater level is declining by about three metres every year.’