<i>Water crisis worsens in port city</i>
Water crisis is worsening in many areas of the port city due to repeated disruption in power supply, hampering production and lifting of water by the Wasa.
The port city faces shortage of around 30 crore litres of water daily in supply by the Chittagong Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa).
The Wasa with its present infrastructural capacity can now supply not more than 30 per cent of the city's total daily demand of 50 crore litres.
With the lone nine crore litres capacity water treatment plant at Mohra and 74 deep tube-wells in different areas of the city, the Wasa has the optimum capacity of producing 21.5 crore to 22 crore litres of water daily.
But Wasa at present cannot produce water to its full capacity due to frequent power outages and technical problems in the deep tube-wells, said the officials at Wasa.
In last few weeks Wasa's production has come down to 19 crore litres a day, leaving a shortage of 25 crore to 30 crore litres of water a day, they added.
Amid such a poor water supply city dwellers are now suffering a lot from the very beginning of the summer.
The areas badly affected by the crisis include Lalhan Bazar, Agrabad, Hajipara, Dewanhat, Manchurabad, Halishashar, Madarbari, Bakalia, Patherghata, Alkaran, Nalapara, Kadamtali, Mogoltuli and Saraipara.
People in most of these areas get Wasa-supplied water for only one or two twice a week.
The residents of Hazipara, Chariapara and Moulavipara under North Agrabad alleged that they got Wasa-supplied water for only three times last month.
Quarrel between the tenants and the building owners for water has become a common scene in every morning in these areas. Many of the owners have dug alternative deep tube-wells on their own but have fail to ensure water supply as the pumps can't run due to loadshedding.
A housewife in Chariapara area on Monday showed this correspondent her utensils piled up on the kitchen. Two large empty drums and heap of clothes were lying in the bathroom.
“We got only three buckets of stinking water three days ago and we had to filter it before household use,” said Halima, adding since then we are out of water supply.
Owner of the building Shah Alam said they have gotten Wasa-supplied water a week ago and the ground water he could lift from his deep tube-well was found dirty.
The misery of the slum people is beyond description. A long queue of some 50 to 60 people including kids and aged women were seen beside a roadside water pipe at Pathantuli Road on Monday morning.
Shahjahan, a rickshawpuller waiting on the queue, said he could not pull his rickshaw since he had to wait there for drinking water for his family.
Wasa Chief Engineer Md Shafiqul Islam said with the present infrastructural capacity they have no immediate solution except waiting for improvement of power situation.
He said they would not be able to supply water as the existing deep tube-wells can not operate due to loadshedding.
Only 18 deep tube-wells, out of 74, operate daily since they are connected with the express power line where continuous power supply is ensured from the PDB substation.
Chittagong Wasa recently urged the Power Development Board (PDB) to connect 28 more deep tube-wells for nonstop power supply.
Sources said both the Wasa and PDB officials have already conducted a survey following the proposal.