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Article Water crisis hits city-dwellers

Amid the searing heat of a tropical summer, water supply in Dhaka has dropped drastically while dwellers in many places are reportedly getting unusable, rancid life-saving liquid from Water Supply and Sewerage Authority.

Scorching summer heat, compounded by erratic power outage, has crippled normal city life. Acute water scarcity and mosquito menace have also added untold miseries to commoners.
Dozens of residents, while talking to daily sun, spoke of their sufferings for stinking, putrid smell of water meant for both domestic use and consumption.
When things have got this bad, hundreds of sufferers on Sunday staged demonstrations in some areas as water shortages have hit them hard amid frequent power cuts when demand for power is at its peak now.
A litany of complaints was earlier lodged with different Wasa zones, but all those fell on deaf ears of the authorities concerned, many alleged.
The people living in Maghbazar, Malibagh, Wireless gate, Shewrapara, Mirpur-1, Mirpur-10, Mirpur-14, Lalmatia, Dhanmondi, Kalabagan, Kathalbagan, Mohammadpur, East Rampura, Jurain and old part of Dhaka are worst sufferers.
“We aren’t getting water timely for weeks, which has made our lives miserable in muggy, sultry weather,” said Parvez Hossain, an East Rampura resident.
“Many have to survive now by buying water from Wasa tankers, sometimes paying more than double the regular price,” he deplored.
Mohammad Liton, a homeowner of the neighbourhood, said “we haven’t been getting Wasa water regularly for the last one month and a half, although we have to pay Wasa water bills every month”.
Hundreds of residents of Bepari Goli of Boro Maghbazar besieged a water pump of Wasa at Maghbazar with the same demand—smooth supply of drinking water.
They blamed employees of different pumps for selling water per jar at Tk 5, banking on the odd situation and also alleged that Wasa operators are creating an artificial crisis to do a brisk trade. Atiq, a tenant at Bepari Goli, said they do not get water over a month. His flat owner runs water pump once a day for an hour to mitigate water crisis. “We cannot do household chores properly and even take a bath regularly.”
However, Maghbazar Wasa pump operator Mohammad Wares said, “Three operators, including me, work at the pump station, but we don’t know why the Bepari Goli residents don’t get water.”
Meanwhile, dwellers of greater Mirpur blocked Rokeya Sarani outside Al Helal Hospital near Mirpur-10 circle on Sunday, demanding constant water supply. They claimed that Wasa zone 4 has not heeded their complaints.
Mohib-uz-Zaman, a Paikpara resident, said “water crisis has reached its peak now. This is very excruciating”.
On the other hand, water crisis has taken a turn for the worse in the old part of the capital, thereby making the lives of the locals a complete misery.
However, Dhaka Wasa said the problem has been due to inoperative deep tube-wells along with damaged and dilapidated pipelines in the area.
Hanif, a Banglabazar resident, said he has to run to Kakoli Field Pump daily with a jar at a fixed time to fetch water, sometimes standing in a long queue.
Same is the condition for areas like Gandaria, Dhupkhola, Lal Kuthi, Ekrampur, Dail Potti, Shankharibazar, Panitola, Julon Bari, Razar Dewri, Hemanta Das Lane, Singtola, Laxmibazar, Northbrook Hall Road and Court House Street.
According to Wasa, the demand for water here is 225 crore litres per day while its capacity is 245 crore litres. Although water production is more compared to the local demand, they are still suffering due to water crisis.
When contracted, SDM Quamrul Alam Chowdhury, a deputy managing director of the state-run water monopoly, said “although water production is higher than the actual demand, some problem is created for transmission line and technical faults. We’re trying to fix the problem soon.”

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