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Dhaka Tribune

Acute water crisis grips Rajshahi city

Update : 12 Apr 2014, 06:14 PM

Load shedding, low voltage and a decrease in ground water level, the water supply system of Rajshahi City Corporation has virtually collapsed and the city dwellers have been facing an acute water crisis over the last few days.

The worst affected areas are Dhorompur, Mirzapur, Dashmari, Bodhpara, Meherchandi, Satabongram, Binodpur, Kazla, Talaimari, Shiroil, Lakshmipur Bhatapara, Ponchaboti, Hazrapukur, Horogram and Rajshahi court area.

Water supply and sewerage authorities are supplying water from 70 deep tube wells and one surface water treatment plant. These, however, are unable to meet the public demand.

As the Padma River dried up, things got worse, said officials of Rajshahi water supply and sewerage authority (RWASA).

Hydro-Geologist Choudhury Sarwar Jahan Sajol, pro-vice chairman of Rajshahi University, said the underground water level had gone down by 35 to 40 feet in the city areas and 85 to 110 feet in Barind tract including Godagari, Tanore, Bangmara, Puthia and Durgapur, creating a severe crisis in drinking water supplies.

Bahar Uddin Mridha, executive engineer of Public Health Engineering Department reports that at least 50 percent of the tube wells and Tara pumps installed by PHED in different upazilas of the district are not functioning at present.

He also added that every year underground water level goes down by six to seven feet in the city and on its outskirts.

Monowara Begum, resident at Darikharbona in the city who is suffering through this water crisis feels that “the authorities concerned should take whatever steps necessary to resolve the problems.”

Tarikul Islam, a resident of Hetomkhan, pointed out that the tube wells and WASA could not supply sufficient water, which RWASA caretaker engineer Parvez Ahmed explained, saying, “A man needs at least 145 litres of water per day but the WASA hardly supplies 108 litres.”

He added that at present 67 percent people of the city are getting water from the WASA and rest of the people are reaming out coverage.

In addition, around 2,000 tube wells in the city lay inoperative and 1,500 more were unable to lift water due to depletion of underground water, said WASA sources.

Many of the city dwellers are compelled to purchase mineral water to meet their drinking water needs.

Dhirendranath Sarker, managing director of RWASA, said that they had a plan to operate four water treatment plants to avert the crisis of surface water treatment plant.

He added, “A delegation from Korea has recently visited the city. The delegation approved a project of TK4000crores to set up a surface water treatment plant. We can include more 20 percent people under their coverage if the project is implemented.”

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