Vol. 5 Num 317 Mon. April 18, 2005  

Severe water crisis grips Rajshahi city
RCC apologises for failure: Low voltage of power, fall in groundwater level blamed

The city dwellers have been facing an acute crisis of water for the last three days.

Because of load shedding, low voltage of power and fall in ground water level, the water supply system of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) virtually collapsed.

The RCC authorities could not provide water to the citizens in 30 wards on Saturday and apologised to them through press notes and advertisements published in local newspapers.

The worst affected areas are Kumarpara, Upashahar, Kadirganj, Ghoramara, Tikapara, Talaimari, Bhadra, Baliapukur, Katakhali and a few other places where people are seen using pond water.

Several hundred resident students of Mother Bux Hall of Rajshahi University staged an angry demonstration in front of the hall premises demanding smooth supply of water.

All the 50 deep tube-wells of the RCC have been left idle due to low voltage of power. Two pump machines at Binodpur and PN School areas were damaged three days ago due to fluctuation in voltage.

The RCC authorities can meet only 70 percent of the city’s total daily demand of three crore gallon of water with its 50 deep tube-wells, 6,000 tube-wells and other medium pumps.

With pump machines remaining out of order and underground water level going down, the RCC authorities are now supplying only 20 percent of the demand.

'Because of fall in water level, almost all hand pumped tube-wells in Ambagan area in Baliapukur became inoperative resulting in stoppage in water supply', said Quazi Gias, a local resident.

The officials of the Power Development Board said, they receive only 20 to 25 MW of their total demand of 55 MW for Rajshahi. Power voltage remains below 160 in case of required one phased 220 volt while 225 against demand for 440 voltage.

Our RU Correspondent reports: The students of Mother Bux Hall staged sit-in in front of the hall for an hour demanding smooths water supply.

They also locked the hall gate and denied entry of staff and employees .

The students complained to newsmen that the university authorities did not take any step to mitigate their sufferings although they were facing the water crisis for the last five days.

When the agitating students threatened to confine the hall provost and ransacked his office, senior teachers of the university rushed to the scene and assured them of proper solution to the crisis.

A large number of armed policemen have been deployed on the hall premises. A tense situation prevailed in the area.