New water treatment plant will cover supply shortage
The water supply crisis in Chittagong city is set to end with the launch of the Karnaphuli Water Supply Project Phase-2 treatment plant on Monday.
The plant has the capacity to supply 140 million litres of water every day. The Chittagong Water Supply & Sewerage Authority (Chittagong Wasa) currently supplies 391 million litres of water a day against demand for 500 million litres.
The plant is being launched on the occasion of Bangabandhu Shekh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary.
Chittagong Wasa currently supplies water to 80,000 households, while the rest get their water from deep tube wells. Water supply from Chittagong Wasa is sometimes interrupted, so some households with water connections keep deep tube wells as well.
Chittagong Wasa Chief Engineer Maksud Alam said they have been running the plant on an experimental basis and it will go into full production on Monday.
“Once the plant is operational, we will be able to gradually phase out deep tube wells,” he told Dhaka Tribune, adding that the port city is unlikely to face another water crisis till 2035.
Work on the second phase of the Karnaphuli Water Supply Project-2 began in June 2016.
Of the total project cost of Tk 4,489.15 crore, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing Tk 2,800.92 crore, the government is providing Tk 1,665.16 crore and Wasa is providing Tk 23.7 crore.
In addition to the treatment plant, the project includes construction of 3.6km of convection pipelines, 317km of transmission lines, 700km of distribution lines, two surge tanks, a reservoir with a capacity of 24.8 million litres and a high reservoir with a capacity of 3 million litres.
82 million litre daily system loss?
Chittagong Wasa estimates that 82 million litres of water is wasted in the port city every day.
“This is a big loss when many people have no access to water. City residents are only getting about 309 million litres, not 391 million litres, because of system loss,” said an official, asking to remain anonymous.
He added that the corruption of a section of Chittagong WASA employees was depriving the authority of a significant amount of revenue
Acknowledging the system loss, Chittagong WASA Chief Engineer said the wastage occurs due to pipeline leaks.
“The other causes are illegal connections and man-made mistakes,” he said.
He added that initiatives have been taken to reduce the wastage.