For more than two years, residents of Madhya Badda have been enduring water crisis.
The situation persists particularly in Post Office Road area, one of the densely populated parts of Badda, where over 2,000 people live.
The crisis became acute in the last couple of months due to irregular supply and flow of water in pipeline, said locals.
Post Office Road is on the east of Pragati Sarani and those who live nearby get water from Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa), though not frequently. Wasa supplies the water from its treatment plant in Sayedabad.
But further the Post Office Road goes, scarcer the supply gets.
“We have to constantly think about saving water. There are days we have to choose between using water for cooking and taking a shower,” Nodi Akhtar, a housewife, told The Daily Star recently.
Desperate, residents have started to harvest rainwater. Many also fetch water from nearby areas.
Md Jahangir, a private service holder, said, “Sometimes, people don’t want to share water with us. Can we really blame them?”
“Even in this humid weather, I cannot take a shower before going to work or after returning home. I have to constantly think about saving water,” said a frustrated Jahangir.
Carrying containers filled with water from other areas and climbing stairs on a daily basis are also taking a toll on locals. Many complained of back pain and numbness in lower limbs.
Md Nuruzzaman, an elderly resident, said, “There are times we get water from the supply line, if we’re lucky, in the dead of night. We are literally passing sleepless nights to get water. This has been going on since before Ramadan.”
According to locals, they have been complaining about the issue to the councillor and Wasa officials, but to no avail.
Wasa officials said there is scarcity of water in the Sayedabad pipeline and the supply is not adequate enough to reach the entire Madhya Badda.
In addition, unlike nearby areas, Post Office Road does not have a station to pump out groundwater. Residents said if Wasa installs one, they will not have to depend on supply water from Sayedabad plant.
Contacted, Executive Engineer Emranul Islam of Wasa’s MODS Zone-8 (Natun Bazar) said, “Madhya Badda needs a water pump station.” The crisis becomes acute in dry season as water flow in Sayedabad pipeline weakens, he added.
Asked when Wasa will install a water pump, he said they are ready to set up one but there is no open space left in the area. Also, acquiring land for that purpose is not Wasa’s responsibility. If the local representative can provide a piece of land, Wasa can proceed with its plan, he added.
Among the 18 new wards of Dhaka North City Corporation, Madhya Badda fell under ward-37 after this year’s councillor election.
The current councillor is Jahangir Alam. Contacted, Jahangir said he would talk about the issue in person.
But he turned out to be difficult to reach. This correspondent went to his office on DIT Road multiple times; he was not there.
The councillor finally answered his phone after many attempts.
He said they are trying to find an open space to install a pump station with Wasa’s help. “We have spoken to Wasa officials about the crisis,” he said.
He also added that they have found a piece of land and some parts of it is khas (government-owned) land. “However, a local claims ownership and we’re looking into the matter to determine which part of the land belongs to the government so that we can set up a water pump there.”
He said they will be able to finish the process within a month.