Price of water at water ATM increased by 73 percent in one jump

News Source

Daily Present Times

Desk News

News Editor

Eati Akter

Sub editor

Dhaka Wasser Water ATM Booth Project has become quite popular in a short period of time. The demand for pure water is high in the areas of Dhaka where the water quality is poor. Drinkwell received the US State Department’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) for this project in collaboration with Dhaka WASA to provide low-cost clean water. After eight months of this award, Dhaka WASA has increased the water price of water ATMs by 73 percent without any prior announcement. The customer is expressing anger.

The customer complains that the water supplied by Dhaka Wasa to their homes is not pure. You have to burn gas and boil water to drink. In such a situation, water ATM booth pure water is popular. But there is no justification for increasing the price of water by 73 percent in one jump.

However, Dhaka WASA officials say that the price of water at the water ATM booth has been increased ‘in view of the current global situation’. From Tuesday (August 1), the price of water per liter has been fixed at 70 paise. 10 paise VAT will be added to this. But those concerned could not clearly say what WASA meant by the global situation. Till Monday (July 31), this water was sold at 46 paisa including VAT.

When asked, Director of Water ATM Booth Project and Executive Engineer of Dhaka WASA, Rameshwar Das said on Tuesday (August 1), that ATMs were initially installed to provide clean water to the lower class people of the city. Due to the quality of ATM water, all classes of people are now customers. The quality of this water is same as bottled water. But Rameshwar Das expressed inability to say what exactly caused the water price to increase by 73 percent. He said that WASA Managing Director (MD) Takseem A Khan can speak well about increasing the water price of water ATM booths. My project has nothing to do with raising the price of this water.

Later, Wasar MD Taksim A Khan’s mobile phone was called multiple times, but there was no connection. However, a senior WASA official, who did not want to be named, said that the cost of setting up and operating water ATM booths is increasing. So the price of water has to be increased. But there was no need to increase 34 paisa per liter of water in one jump.

On November 18, 2022, Drinkwell received the Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) from the United States Department of State for setting up water ATM booths jointly with Dhaka Wasa to provide clean water to the citizens of the capital at low cost. The organization received this award in the climate tolerance category.

Housewife Afroza regularly takes water from the Dhaka Wasar Water ATM booth at IPH in Mohakhali. On Tuesday around 10:30 am, we talked to her while returning from this booth with water. At that time, she said that he did not know about the increase in the price of water by 34 paisa per liter. Afroza said that the water supplied by WASA to the households is not directly drinkable. Even if you boil it to drink, sometimes there is foam on the water. And the gas bill has to be paid for boiling water. Besides, purifying water is time-consuming and risky. So for the last two years I have been drinking pure water from Wasser Water ATM booths. Tastes like bottled water. But if the price of water continues to rise by leaps and bounds now, it will be beyond the reach of low-income people.

Minhaj Uddin was taking water in two separate five liter bottles from the same booth. He also expressed his anger at the increase in the price of water. Minhaj said WASA is a service organization. Hundreds of crores of subsidies are given by the government every year. Now there is no reason to increase the price so much in one jump.

Capital residents have been complaining about the water supplied through the Dhaka Wasar pipe for a long time. In May 2017, the first water ATM booth was set up in Muga in the capital to provide safe water to the poor people of the city at low cost. WASA contracted with Drinkwell of the United States for this work. Later they started setting up booths in different parts of the city as per the demand of the customers. The water extracted from underground is sold through purification in these ATM booths.

According to Dhaka WASA sources, Dhaka WASA and American non-governmental organization (NGO) Drinkwell have installed 295 water ATM booths in different areas of the capital so far. An RFID card like a bank’s ATM card is placed in a specific location in the machine and pure drinking water is automatically dispensed. Customers can recharge the card from 10 taka to 999 taka. Water can be collected daily from 8 am to 4 pm. The number of customers of water ATM booths to get this service is increasing day by day. Now the number of ATM booth card customers is around two lakh 90 thousand. An average of 14 lakh liters of water is being sold every day.

In 2019, a study by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said that Dhaka was failing to provide clean water through the WASA pipeline. 91 percent of consumers boil food and drink water. 322 crores of gas is spent annually to boil water for drinking purposes.

Recently, after visiting Wari, Nazirabazar, Lalbagh, Hazaribagh areas of Old Dhaka, water ATM booths are mainly installed in the area adjacent to Wasar water pumps. Water is drawn from deep tubewells and kept in designated containers. There the water is purified and it comes to the ATM. After inserting the card into the machineBy pressing the designated button, the water starts falling. When the card is removed after taking water, the water stops. Every liter of water was sold at 46 paisa including VAT. But in the beginning, the price of this water was 40 paisa per liter. Then the customer did not have to pay any VAT.

Regarding the addition of 6 paise VAT to the price of water, Rameshwar Das, director of the water ATM booth project and executive engineer of Dhaka Wasa, said in November last year that they are selling water at 40 paise per litre. The extra 6 paise is being deducted by the government as VAT. Hopefully the price of this water will not increase in the future.

WASA and Drinkwell officials said that the customers are more in those areas where there is water shortage and there is smell and pollution in the water. Among these are Mugda, Kadamtala, Mirpur, Fakirapool and Old Dhaka. The number of ATM booth customers is constantly increasing. MoU signed with Drinkwell to set up 500 ATM booths by 2025.

The card is available by visiting any Water ATM booth and asking the operator in charge. For this you have to take photocopy of national identity card, two copies of passport size photos and 50 taka (fee). Water can be taken by recharging the ATM card with a maximum of 999 taka and a minimum of 10 taka at a time. The booth operator also recharges the card. But now the method of recharge through mobile banking has also started.

Source : Jagonews24

Visits: 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News Source

Daily Present Times

Desk News

Catagory News