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Dhaka Tribune

Want of water keeps Old Dhaka people awake until late night

Update : 15 Jul 2013, 05:18 AM

Old Dhaka dwellers took to Nawabpur street last night with pitchers, buckets and other utensils demanding water till Wasa came in to assure them that the water crisis would be duly dealt with.

Beset by scarce water supplies, hundreds of people stayed in the street till 1:30am when Wasa turned up and vowed to take concrete steps to address the scarcity of water.

Locals said they had been suffering from the lack of water for the last twelve days, but Wasa seemed to be oblivious of the matter.

The sufferings started after Shab-e-barat in Siddiq Bazar, Alu Bazar, Kaptan Bazar, Thatari Bazar, Nawabpur, Bangshal, Malitola and Bonogram.

The situation began to worsen day by day, forcing people to take to the street. They burned tires as part of their protest. Afterwards, police pacified the situation.

Locals said they had been getting a bad odour from water supplied by Wasa over the past few months. But recently they had not gotten any water for days.

“We have been getting black water from the water pipe. The water smells bad which we cannot use,” said Soeb Ullah, a resident of Malitola.

“We were getting water at dawn for a few days. But the water was not usable as the water was dirty and had pungent smell,” said Imran of Nawabpur, according to Banglanews.

Wasa vehicles often supply an amount of water which cannot meet the demand for water. Moreover, locals claimed that they had to pay Tk1,500-Tk1,800 for a vehicle full of Wasa water instead of Tk500.

Wasa Assistant Engineer Mahmudur Rahman denied the claim of water being sold at the stated price.

“We have come here on information. We were not earlier informed about the water scarcity in the area for twelve days. It is not in our record. Our full team will work….as we have learned the matter now,” he went on.

Asked whether the water supply will be okay from next Sunday, he said: “I don’t know whether it will be alright from tomorrow but our full team will work till the problem is solved.”

A protester Md Rafiq said: “We called Wasa many times in these twelve days. They replied: ‘Sir is absent’ and sometimes they answered nothing. Sometimes, the authority did not talk after receiving call. We have taken to the street as we have no other option.”

One of the protesters Jubair said: “My paternal grandmother died yesterday. We did not have water for her Janaza. We had to collect water from a tube well far away.”

Pointing at a child, Mina Begum said: “The child could not sleep as it did not have a bath for a few days. To stay alive without food is possible.

“Is it possible to live without water?” she asked.

She further said: “We are in great problem in Ramadan for the paucity of water. We cannot do ablution and take bath without water.”

Inhabitants of Hazi Osman Goni road, Agamasi Lane, Nazim Uddin road and Bangshal said they had not received water since the month of May.

People of Shakahri Bazar said they have to buy water because they get water but that is very dirty and smells bad.

Besides the above areas, the water crisis has affected Sirish Das Lane, Hemanta Das road, Paridas road, Banglabazar, Ahsan Ullah road, Shakahri Bazar, Koltabazar, Nawab Bari, Nawabpur, Ray Saheb Bazar, Dholay Khal, Rishikesh Das Lane, Nondo Goapal Datt Lane, Laxmi Bazar, Sims road, Sadarghat and the commercial area of Islampur.

Wasa officials claim that the water supplied to old Dhaka is not dirty.

“We have come here on information. Water has been supplied to two to three mosques. Wasa will start working from tomorrow.” said Sub-Inspector Moazzem Hossen of Bangshal police station.

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