Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Water crisis grips Dhaka

Amid frequent power cuts and the summer heat, water supply to Dhaka dwellers has dropped drastically in the last one month.
Adding to the water crisis, dwellers of some areas were getting unusable foul-smelling water from Water Supply and Sewerage Authority. The stinky water was allegedly spreading waterborne diseases as well.
People living in Gulbagh, Madartek, Mohammadpur, Shekhertek, Pisciculture Housing, Shyamoli, some parts of Dhanmondi, Elephant Road, Uttar Adabar, Indira Road, Green Road, Monipuripara, Sher-e-Bangalanagar, Ashkona, Gopibagh, Nowabpur, Mir Hazirbagh, Rajarbagh, Bashabo, Kadamtala, Sabujbagh and Ahmedbagh were getting foul-smelling water.
“We have not got a single drop for the last three months, which has made our lives miserable,” said Syed Mohammad Abul Baten, a resident of Road-1 of Mohammadia Housing Ltd.
He said around 2,000 residents of Road-1 had to survive for months by buying water from Wasa tankers, paying sometime more than twice the official price.
He claimed that they had lodged a complaint with Wasa Zone-3 Executive Engineer Nurul Islam but the complaint fell on deaf ears. The official did not even take any action against tanker drivers involved in charging extra, he claimed.
The Daily Star called Executive Engineer of Zone-3 of Wasa Nurul Islam on May 24. He hung up when The Daily Star correspondent started asking questions about the problems in Mohammadia Housing and the complaint that had been lodged.
Managing Director of Dhaka Wasa Taqsem A Khan, however, claimed that there was no water crisis in the capital apart from in some scattered pockets. Severe load-shedding hampered pumping up of water, he said.
About the Mohammadia Housing, he said they had been working to set up two pumps at Pisciculture Housing and Kaderabad and the problem of the area would be gone once those become operational.
About charging extra by tanker drivers, Taqsem said they had been taking action and they would be able to take punitive actions had they got complaints against individual drivers.
Taposhi Dhar, a resident of Mostofa Road near Green Road, said they have been getting smelly water for the last six months and had to fetch water from a Wasa pump in Farmgate every day. The pump is around half-a-kilometre away.
“My four-year-old daughter Kristi had diarrhoea twice in a week as we stopped fetching water from the pump for about 15 days last month and used the supply water instead.”
Everyday several hundred people go to the pump to take water, she said.
Managing Director of Dhaka Wasa Taqsem said due to some illegal water connections, water in the pipeline get contaminated during the dry season since water pressure in the pipes remain low then.
According to Wasa, the demand for water in the city was 225 crore to 230 crore litres a day but Wasa could pump 205 crore to 210 crore litres per day.
However, the supply drops during severe load-shedding and severe power cuts in the summer have become usual. According to Bangladesh Power Development Board, the demand-supply shortfall for electricity in the capital was around 400MW on Wednesday.
The number of deep tube wells in the capital is 618. While the number of generators is around 400, including mobile and reserve generators.
Apart from them, there are around 205 pumps with dual electric connections. However, an official of Wasa said during severe load-shedding, especially in the summer, more often than not both connections of the dual-connection pumps suffer power cuts.

-With The Daily Star input

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