WASA proposes zone-based prices for water supply across Dhaka

The Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, or WASA, is keen on setting new prices that vary with areas and the ability of the customers to pay in 10 zones across the capital.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 17 July 2022, 04:44 PM
Updated : 17 July 2022, 04:44 PM

If the proposal is approved, the lower-middle income consumers will have to pay Tk 18.75 for each thousand litre which is Tk 3.57 higher than the rate now.

Currently, WASA distributes water to two types of customers - residential and commercial. The residential consumers pay Tk 15.18 for per thousand litres of water at present. It is Tk 42 for commercial customers

In a programme on Wednesday, WASA revealed the proposed prices based on a study carried out by a committee.

The committee carried out a technical study to look into how many types of consumers there are in Dhaka and what methods are applied around the world to come up with WASA’s proposed prices.

The proposal splits Dhaka into 10 separate zones to fix the prices. The supply cost for each zone may differ.

The new price for higher-income residents, who account for 0.8 percent of WASA’s consumers, has been proposed at Tk 37.5, which is Tk 22.32 higher than the current price.

The proposed price for higher middle-income families is Tk 31.25 while middle-income families will receive supply at the production cost, Tk 25. The middle-income households make up 4 percent of WASA’s consumers.

The prices for the lower-income families were proposed at Tk 12.5 per thousand litres, which is Tk 2.68 lower than the current rate. As much as 79.4 percent of WASA consumers are from lower-income households.

For the commercial consumers, the proposed prices were raised by Tk 8 to Tk 50. The rate for the government organisations was proposed to be equal to the production cost, Tk 25.

In the programme, the authorities said the proposed prices eliminate the difference between WASA’s production costs and selling prices. So no subsidies will be required in the sector.

‘KEEP PRICES REASONABLE’

While speaking at the programme, Local Government Minister Md Tajul Islam asked Dhaka WASA to set revised supply prices reasonably.

“Water prices must be fixed logically. You've to take caution so that it doesn’t become a burden to people. But we also have to watch out so that the organisation doesn’t become defunct trying to supply water at low costs.”

Tajul, however, agreed that people living in upscale neighbourhoods should be charged more for water than the lower-income people and those living in slums

“We can’t collect revenue from the poor and deliver water to the rich. We've to set zone-based supply prices. Charges for all utility services, including gas, electricity and holding taxes, should be set the same way.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher