WASA chairman's allegations against MD must be taken into consideration: TIB

Logo of TIB

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has called for the complaints made against Dhaka WASA managing director (MD) Taqsem A Khan by the organisation's chairman to the local government ministry, to be taken into consideration. In a press statement issued today, Friday, the anti-corruption organisation called for a proper investigation into the allegations brought against the WASA MD.

Citing media reports, the TIB statement said that the Dhaka WASA board chairman has made statements against the MD in a letter to the local government and in the media. He had alleged that the organisation has been reduced to a den of irregularities, pilferage and corruption and had rendered the WASA board ineffective. This has been brought to the attention of the public in news reports and studies.

In the statement, TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said that this was an extreme example of a lack of institutional liability and accountability. He said that though it has repeatedly been said that corruption and irregularities had been institutionalised in WASA by the arbitrary use of power, there was no visible move to address the situation. This invisible sphere of power had created a role model of unaccountability.

The statement said that the chairman of the WASA board himself had alleged that the MD had sidestepped the law and the board to do as he wished. It said there was no scope to avoid these allegations any further. The statement demanded a proper inquiry into the allegations of irregularities and corruption against WASA that appeared in news reports and studies and also to ensure the accountability of those responsible.

It said that the people did not get WASA water as per demand, though the price was steadily rising and the people had to bear the extra cost of boiling the water. This would be addressed by effective control of WASA's extensive corruption and irregularities. The court has ordered an inquiry into allegations of misappropriation of Tk 1.32 billion by nine persons including the WASA MD. However, there has been no visible progress in this regard, which is a matter of concern.