Chattogram Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (CWasa) is going to install 200 fire hydrants at different points in the city in addition to 30 already in place, in order to facilitate water supply during fire emergencies.
The first set of fire hydrants have been set up early this year at different important points including Pahartali, Agrabad, Chowmuhuni and Patenga in the city, under a project titled 'Ctg Water Supply Improvement & Sanitation Project' financed by World Bank, the first such initiative in the country.
CWasa sources said they would set up 200 more hydrants under phase-2 of Karnaphuli Water Supply Project (KWSP), financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The hydrants will be planted at different Karnaphuli Service Areas including Barek Building, Agrabad, New Market, Patharghata, Halishahar, Garibullah Shah, Lalkhan Bazar, Textile Intersection, Aturar Depot, Khatiber Haat and Arakan Byline.
A letter mentioning the selected places was sent to the officials of Fire Service and Civil Defence department for recommendation, said Maksud Alam, superintending engineer of the project, adding that the new hydrants would be implanted as soon as the notification from the fire department is received.
“In recent times, we have seen several incidents of fire emergencies where water was unavailable during rescue operations. If adequate number of hydrants can be planted in major cities, such crises will not occur,” said the engineer.
To get sufficient water supply, one-bar water pressure will be provided to the hydrants which are connected to the central reservoir of CWasa situated at Nasirabad in the city, he said.
“We will be able to control and monitor the hydrants through Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCDA) method from the control room at Nasirabad during any emergency,” said Maksud, adding that all hydrants will be installed by early 2021.
Contacted, Jashim Uddin, deputy assistant director (DAD) of fire department, told The Daily Star that the hydrants would facilitate fire fighters to conduct operations at different disaster-prone areas like Riyajuddin Bazar, Jahur Hawkers' Market and Khatunganj. He said the fire service has inspected the already-installed ones and are satisfied with those.
Most high rise buildings at Hawkers' Market, Teri Bazar, and Riyajuddin Bazar areas do not have any fire safety system, making them vulnerable to fire emergencies, the DAD informed.
He also said some 50 chemical shops and warehouses are situated at Bundle Road and Asadganj, two very densely populated areas in the city.
"We along with the magistrate of Chattogram District Administration conducted a drive in the area earlier this month and found the area prone to fire incidents. As the alleys in these areas are very narrow, fire engines would not be able to work with full efficiency in those areas," the DAD said.
Hydrants in those areas will improve fire services operation during crises, he added.