Home District Chattogram city dwellers facing serious water crisis
District - Health - March 13, 2024

Chattogram city dwellers facing serious water crisis

Daily 8 cr ltrs short supply

Staff Correspondent, Ctg : I woke up in the morning and saw that water does not come out of the water tap. The caretaker of the house said that there was no water for two days. WASA stopped water supply without any announcement. There is no end to the suffering of people due to lack of water on the first day of Ramadan.
Sohel, a resident of Kapasgola area of Chittagong city, was speaking with anger. Not only Sohail or his house owner, all the 78 thousand customers in Chittagong are more or less in water shortage. On Wednesday (March 13) morning, it was seen on the ground that many areas of the city are not getting water even throughout the day. Water shortage is more pronounced in higher areas.

According to WASA, daily water production has decreased by eight million liters due to increase in salinity in Halda and Karnaphuli rivers. Besides, two and a half million liters of water is being ‘winded’ every day due to the leakage of transmission lines. In this situation, they are thinking of an alternative to keep the water supply uninterrupted for the city dwellers during Ramadan.
On the first day of fasting, residents of various places including Halishahar, Patenga, Kattali, Agrabad, Halishahar, Chawkbazar, Katalganj, Dewan Bazar and Muradpur areas of Chittagong city are not getting WASA water. Many complained that they did not get water even during Sehri in the middle of the night. Shops were also closed at night. They had to suffer in the first hour. In this situation, the residents of different areas of the city are forced to buy jar water or bottled water from the market for consumption and food at night and during the day. Low and low-middle income people are the most affected. Buying liters of water amid high prices of daily commodities is a ‘death blow’ for them.
Sonia Akhtar, a resident of Katalganj area told, “I bought a 15-liter water jar at night because the water was not coming from Wasa.” The price is Tk 100. That water is finished at night and in the morning. Now one more jar of water will be needed for Iftar.’
Minhajul Islam of Patenga area of the city said, ‘There is no water in the house since last night. I bought bottled water at Sehri, but I don’t understand how to perform ablution. Every year there are hearing about new projects of Wasa, but when the dry season comes, all their projects are over. The issue of water shortage in Ramadan should have been thought of in advance.
Manoara Begum, a resident of Chandgaon residential area, said, “Housewives suffer more from the water crisis. The need for water is even greater during Ramadan. It is inhumane to shut off the water there without any announcement.
Sushmita Barua, a resident of Muhuripara area of Agrabad, complained that salt has been coming in the Wasa water for the past few days.
The issue also came up in the WASA laboratory tests. Since February 10, excess salt is available in Haldar water. The presence of salt ranges from a minimum of 40 to a maximum of 2600 mg per liter of water.
In this situation, WASA stops water production for 7 to 8 hours during high tide. It has reduced the daily water production of WASA. Chief engineer of Chittagong Wasa Maqsood Alam told that on Monday (March 11) there was less production of about 8 crore liters of water due to salt.
He said that the maximum 2600 mg of salt was found in Haldar water. At the same time, the water level has dropped to minus fifteen (-15), which is minus one point five (-1.5) during normal hours. At the same time, the water level in Karnaphuli has decreased to three point five (-3.5).
Due to this, the water production of Sheikh Russell Water Supply Project and Mohra Water Supply Project has decreased by about 25 percent. At present, efforts are being made to maintain water supply in the city through rationing. In addition, efforts are being made to increase water flow by opening deep tube wells and cutting channels in the river,’ said Engineer Maqsood Alam.
According to Chittagong Wasa data, 92 percent of the daily production capacity of 500 million liters is sourced from Halda and Karnaphuli rivers. But now salinity has increased due to reduced flow of water in both rivers.
Currently Chittagong WASA has 78,542 residential customer connections and 7,767 commercial connections. About 32 lakh people in the city are under the service of the organization.
Daily total water production of Chittagong Wasa is 50 million liters. Out of this, 9 crore liters are produced daily from Sheikh Russell Water Supply Project, 14.3 crore liters from Sheikh Hasina Water Treatment Plant Project 01 and 02 to a total of 28.3 crore liters and 9 crore liters from Mohra Water Supply Project. Mainly water is collected and purified from Karnaphuli and Halda rivers. Besides, four crore liters of water comes from deep tube wells. However, about 25-30 percent of water is wasted in the non-revenue sector due to system losses.
Chittagong Wasa Supervising Engineer Ariful Islam told that if the amount of water released from the upstream Kaptai hydropower project dam decreases, the salinity of Karnaphuli water will increase.
Kaptai Hydropower Project Manager ATM Abdur Jaher told, “Kaptai Lake now has a water level of 80.05 feet mean sea level (MSL). But according to the rule curve, the water in the lake is now supposed to be 90 feet MSL. In other words, there is now about 10 feet less water in Kaptai Lake than the measurement.
He also fears that the water level of Kaptai Lake will decrease further if it does not rain immediately. Meanwhile, experts fear health problems from using excessively salty water.
Chittagong Medical College (CHMEC) former head professor of medicine Sujat Pal said, ‘High blood pressure patients should avoid drinking too much salty water. Drinking too much salty water can cause kidney, heart problems, blood pressure, diarrhea and vomiting.

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