Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday opened a number of development projects including two water treatment plants – Sheikh Russell Water Treatment Plant in Chattogram and Bangabandhu Water Treatment Plant in Khulna.
The Prime Minister inaugurated these development projects through videoconferencing from her official residence Ganobhaban in the city.
Sheikh Russell Water Treatment Plant is capable of purifying 100 million litres of water every day. Bangabandhu Water Treatment Plant, constructed at Samantasena in Rupsha Upazila, is capable of purifying 110 million liters a day.
PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus conducted the function, while Financial Institutions Division Senior Secretary Md Ashadul Islam, Local Government Division Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed, Information Secretary Kamrun Nahar and Railways Additional Secretary Md Mujibur Rahman made presentations over the projects implemented by their respective ministries.
The Sheikh Russel water treatment plant is scheduled to be inaugurated on Sunday to mitigate the crisis of drinking water in Chattogram City.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will open the plant named after her youngest brother through a video conference in the morning.
Constructed at a cost of Tk 1,800 crore, the plant is supplying 90 million litres of drinking water to the city every day. It has a production capacity of 100 million litres.
Officials concerned hope that they will now be able to meet more than 80 percent demand for water with the new plant jointly funded by the government, World Bank and Chattogram Wasa. Its construction started in 2014.
“There won’t be any problem in water supply after 2021,” said CWasa Managing Director AKM Fazlullah.
CWasa sources said the current daily demand for water is 500 million litres. With the new plant, 360 million litres are being supplied, said CWasa board member Mohsin Kazi.
Wasa Executive Engineer Soumitra Paul said they are thoroughly testing the water and supplying it after ensuring quality.
“We haven’t found traces of bacteria or other germs in the treated water. The city residents can drink the water without boiling,” he said.
Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka ranked fifth worst in the Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday morning.
It had an AQI score of 248 at 08:19am. The air was classified as ‘very unhealthy’.
Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar, India’s Delhi and Pakistan’s Lahore occupied the top three spots in the list of cities with worst air quality with AQI scores of 382, 327, and 273 respectively.
Everyone may experience more serious health effects when the AQI score is between 201 and 300.
The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.
In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants - Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone (O3). The Department of Environment has also set national ambient air quality standards for these pollutants. These standards aim to protect against adverse human health impacts.
Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution. The air quality usually improves during monsoon.
At least five persons, including leaders of the association of businesses based in the Gulistan Sundarban Square Super Market in the capital’s Bongshal, were injured Saturday after suffering an alleged attack by the ‘cadres’ of ward number 20 Jubo League President Shahabuddin Ahmed.
The incident took place inside the market at 12:30 in the afternoon. The injured are undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
They have been identified as Moinul Islam Mamun, 48, Faruk Hossain Polash, 35, Shakib, 40, Kawser, 35 and Monir Hossain, 40.
Of the injured, Mamun and Polash are said to be in critical condition.
Businessman Abu Bakar Siddique, Vice President of the Sundurban Square Super Market Shop Owners Association, said that some cadres including one Rony and Jubo League Secretary Ahad Bappy, both of ward number 34, at the direction of Jubo League leader Shahabuddin suddenly attacked the association office.
He claimed that at this time 15-16 businessmen were injured.
Siddique also relayed that Shahabuddin in cahoots with Jubo League leader Ismail Chowdhury Samrat, now under arrest in connection with the casino scandal, forcibly captured the Sundarban Square Super Market Shop Owners office some years ago, in effect ‘grabbing’ the market, and profited from selling on 1200 shops they built illegally.
Despite lodging complaints with various departments including the city corporation, the ousted leaders of the association failed to garner any positive response from the authorities.
Today when they went to the market, Shahabuddin swooped on them with a group of 60-70 of his goons, according to Siddique.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has urged the city dwellers to cast their votes for their party’s two mayoral candidates in the elections to two Dhaka city corporations taking position in favour of fairness, truth and beauty.
In a video message posted on BNP’s Facebook page on Saturday, he said, “Let’s defeat the unfairness, untruth and ugliness, and ensure the victory of fairness, truth and beauty by casting ballots for the Sheaf of Paddy in the city polls, and move on the path of light, removing darkness.”
Citing a few lines from a poem of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, he said their party has presented two young, potential, extremely meritorious and representatives of the modern generation, Tabith Awal and Ishraque Hossain, as mayoral candidates in the city polls. “Their families' political tradition is remembered with respect.”
“Let the bad times and worries go away and the Dhaka city dwellers get back peace and harmony. Let the politics of self-interest be insignificant and results be transparent,” he added.
The BNP leader also released a similar video message before the December-30 national election in 2018.
The elections to Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) will be held on February 1.
Tabith Awal is contesting the polls as BNP’s DNCC mayoral candidate while Ishraque Hossain as the DSCC mayoral runner.