Residents of Bangladesh’s coastal Khulna city is largely dependent on groundwater but during the summer months the water level falls drastically.
In addition to this, people in the southwestern region of the country have been experiencing saltier water due to frequent climatic impacts.
But hopes are high for a new water treatment plant to serve nearly 2 million people in Bangladesh’s southwestern Khulna City, located about 180 km southwest of the capital Dhaka.
China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC), a subsidiary of China Communications Construction, has been setting up the mega surface water treatment plant in Khulna, one of the largest divisional cities in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s cabinet committee approved CHEC’s bid to implement the first-of-a-kind $62.67 million project in 2015, the construction of which began in October last year.
Under the project which spans 65 acres of land, two impounding reservoirs are also being constructed for preserving the treated water to supply to the city dwellers of Khulna.
The reservoir will preserve about 775,200 cubic meters of water for the dry season.
After implementation of the surface water treatment project, around 2 million people in Khulna and the surrounding areas will have a fresh drinking water supply to meet their daily demand.
Officials say the plant, the third-largest in the country, will have the capacity to treat about 110 million liters of water every day.
They said the Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (KWASA) is now in a position to meet about 43 percent of the total demand.
KWASA has been implementing the project with financial support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Asian Development Bank (ADP).
Md. Imrul Hassan, a senior engineer who has been working as a JICA representative at the project site, told Xinhua recently that he has been supervising the quality of the work and looking into the progress of the work.
“Up to now the progress of the project is nearly 50 percent complete. We are very happy with this progress right now. And the work is in full-swing. Hopefully we will end this project on time,” Hassan said.
He further added, “Our company is working here to expedite the progress while maintaining a high quality of work.”
“Right now the quality of the project and progress of this project is acceptable from a consultant’s point of view. We are really pleased.”
Hasan said that now Khulna WASA supplies 40 to 43 percent of total water demand.
The source of the water is a deep tube well, but after this plant is ready nearly 80 percent of the total demand for water could be met from here to benefit the people.”
Masud Rana, project site engineer of China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd., said 50 percent or more of the project work has already been completed.
“After the project is implemented, people in this area especially the millions of Khulna city dwellers will be immensely benefited. Water will be brought to the plant for treatment from the Modhumati river (Bagherhat District near Khulna) and then purified water will be supplied from here for people to drink and other uses,” he said.