The Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has claimed good progress in the first of the three-part project for supplying drinking water to Dhaka dwellers from the River Meghna.
"We have completed 30% of the work despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are hopeful we will complete the rest of the work in the next two years," said Taqsem A Khan, managing director of Wasa.
The Wasa official stated this while Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD) Minister Tajul Islam visited the water treatment plant construction site at Gandharbpur in Narayanganj on Saturday.
In the first phase of the Dhaka Environmentally-Sustainable Water Supply Project, the authorities plan to treat 50 crore litres of water after extracting it from the River Meghna.
The first phase has three packages – package 1 consists of a pumping station in Bisnondi of Araihazar Upazila to extract water from the Meghna, a water treatment plant at Gandharbpur in Rupganj and a 22-kilometre twin pipeline to connect the pumping station to the plant.
The construction of the transmission pipeline between the treatment plant and Dhaka's Bhatara is in package 2, while package 3 consists of the construction of distribution lines for the north-western part of Dhaka.
However, the construction work of the next two packages has yet to begin.
According to officials, the project was first initiated in 2014 and construction began in October 2019.
Meanwhile, the project implementation deadline has been extended from December 2020 to June 2022.
Wasa is optimistic that it will complete the project by December 2023 – if it can carry out the land acquisition seamlessly.
Meanwhile, the project cost has shot up from Tk5,300 crore to Tk8,100 crore.
"The pipeline installation area has expanded and compensation for the acquired land has also increased two-fold over for the time being. That is why the project cost has risen," said Taqsem A Khan.
LGRD Minister Tajul Islam, said, "I have learned about the progress of the project from the consultant. There is no scope to waste time with the project.
"I have asked all institutions under the LGRD ministry to complete their projects on time," he said.