At the Beginning of the 16th century, the Mughals, in fact the first, established Dhaka city. The expansion of Dhaka city was mainly in and around the river Burigunga. The canals within the mega city Dhaka & the rivers surround the city are acting as natural drainage system, water reservoir and the river route. These canals are Begunbari khal, Segunbagicha khal, kallayanpur khal, Dholai khal etc. The surrounding rivers are the Buriganga, the Shitolakhya, the Balu, the Turag. & the Dhaleshari.
Since 1953 development of the Dhaka city was guided by The Town Improvement Act, 1953. In 1959, a master plan was developed showing an area 320 Sq. km having 5.75 lakh people, is called first master plan of the mega city Dhaka. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, migration of people to Dhaka city from urban & rural areas were very high. At the same time the demand for housing, water, electricity & gas increased tremendously. In this situation the town improvement plans of 1959 failed to meet the demand and felt for another master plan. On this background another master plan was developed in 1996, is called 2nd master plan of Dhaka city. In this plan, the estimated area was 590 Sq. km and population was estimated 100 lakh. But the current population of Dhaka City is 125 lakh, which is 25 lakh more than the estimated plan.
Actually, the potable drinking water supply was started in Dhaka City in the year 1874, and that year Nabab Khaja Abdul Ghani established a water treatment plan in Chadnighat near the bank of the river Buriganga. After that period the piped water was supplied to city people in the limited way and also sanitation system.
After independence government established DPHE (Department of Public Health Engineering) for rehabilitation of damaged water, drainage & sanitation system for rural and urban people.
Dhaka WASA (Water Supply & Sewerage System) was established in the year 1963 as an independent organization, under the East Pakistan ordinance XIX. In 1989, the drainage system of Dhaka city also handed over to DWASA from DPHE. Again in the year 1990, Water, Drainage & Sanitation service of Narayangonj city handed over to DWASA.
Based on the tremendous geographical expansion and population growth over the last two decades, DWASA’s activities has been reorganized by Dhaka WASA Act, 1996 and according to this act, DWASA it is operating as a service oriented commercial organization. Now, the jurisdiction of Dhaka WASA is more than 360 Sq. km and the population is about 125 million.
The major responsibilities and functions of DWASA are:
- construction, operation, improvement and maintenance of the necessary infrastructures for collecting, treating, preserving and supplying potable water to the public, industries and commercial concerns,
- construction, operation, improvement and maintenance of the necessary infrastructures for collecting, treating and disposing domestic sewerage and industrial wastes, and
- construction, operation, improvement and maintenance of the necessary infrastructures for drainage facilities of the City.
At present the service area of DWASA extended to Mirpur and Uttara in the North and to Narayanganj in the South. For better operation, maintenance and customer care, the total service area of DWASA is divided into 11 geographic zones, which includes 10 in Dhaka City and 1 in Narayanganj. There is an office for each zone and this office carries out the responsibilities of engineering operation as well as revenue activities. So that respected consumers can obtain all possible services and counseling from one place.