The Gandharbapur water treatment plant will purify and supply about 500 million litres of water to several areas of Dhaka north after the implementation of "Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply (DESWS)" project by Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa).
The Dhaka Wasa authorities released the information at the signing ceremony of an agreement with a Chinese company for the construction of a 24km long supply network.
Dhaka Wasa and China Geo-Engineering Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon in the capital on Thursday on implementing the first phase (Package-3.1) of the 3-phased project. The cost of this package has been estimated at Tk518 crore.
Engr Taqsem A Khan, managing director of DWASA, and Qin Yong, CEO of China Geo-Engineering Corporation, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations.
Under the agreement, the 25km long water supply network, with an 800-1600 mm diameter, will be constructed from Baridhara crossing to Rampura and from Baridhara to Airport Road, Uttara, Gulshan, Banani and Kachukhet areas of the capital.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Taqsem A Khan said, "Dhaka Wasa is the largest water supplier in the world. Dhaka Wasa is a role model in South Asia. We are not claiming this. It was the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank which have said this. Dhaka Wasa is providing pure water to 20 million people. This has been possible as we have good engineers and administrative manpower."
He said two billion people out of seven billion in the world do not have access to safe water. This is a very large number, but in Bangladesh this number is not very high. Once the Gandharbapur project is completed, all the people in the north-western section of Dhaka will get safe water.
Speaking as the chief guest at the event, Local Government Minister Md Tajul Islam said, "We are not able to use the underground water because of waste, which is harmful to human health and not suitable for use. In such a situation, numerous projects are underway in Dhaka city and more projects are coming up. There is a shortage of water in our coastal areas, because there are many problems, including salt water. In the dry season there is a shortage of water there. That is why we are trying to build a national water grid line across the country to provide safe water to all. We are working on it."
He added that water is not a problem in our country as Bangladesh is a riverine country and situated downstream of the Himalayas. "However, we are not yet able to provide fully purified water. We must provide clean water from village to town."
Being implemented by Dhaka Wasa, the DESWS project of the local government, rural development and cooperatives ministry is funded by the government, Asian Development Bank (ADB), French Development Agency (AFD) and European Invest Bank (EIB).
Although the name of the project taken for the treatment of Meghna river water is 'Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply', this project is also known as 'Gandharbapur Water Treatment Plant'.
Water will be brought from Bishanandi point of Meghna River at Araihazar in Narayanganj to the refinery at Gandharbapur area of Rupganj in Narayanganj. After being purified there, the water will be supplied to different areas of Dhaka North through the pipeline.
Approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council in September 2013, the primary cost of the project was estimated at Tk5,248 crore. After revision, the cost of the project, scheduled to be completed by June 2022, increased to Tk8,151 crore. However, until now, only 40% of the project has been completed.
Under the first package of the project, under the Design Build Operate (DBO) package, installation of intake/pumping station at Bishnandi area of Araihazar upazila in Narayanganj to extract 105 crore litres of untreated water daily from Meghna; construction of twin raw water transmission lines from Bishnandi intake station to Gandharbapur at Rupganj and a water treatment plant with a capacity of 500 million litres per day at Gandharbapur is underway.
Under the second package, an agreement has been signed for the construction of a 14km long twin purified water supply line, with a 1600 mm diameter, from Gandharbapur Water Treatment Plant to Bhatara point of Baridhara in Dhaka. Construction work will start in November this year, said Wasa officials.
Under the third package, they said, work is underway to set up a 45km long feeder line, with a 400-700mm diameter, to supply water to Uttara, Gulshan, Banani, Badda, Uttarkhan and Dakshinkhan areas of the capital.
Project Director Engineer Mahmudul Islam Khan said, "Once our Gandharbapur project is completed, we will be able to ensure a sustainable and environmentally friendly water supply line, with a 70% surface water source and 30% ground water source.
The purpose of this project is to supply water through purified water transmission and distribution lines to the north-western part of Dhaka metropolis.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Gandharbapur Water Treatment Plant on 10 October, 2019.