Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Water Works at Chandnighat, Dhaka

Water Works, Chandnighat 1890

Believed to be the remnants of Shahjada Azimusshan's palace at Posta (extinct during company period)

Masonry wells in river for drawing water to treatment plant at Chandnighat

Pre-settling tank

Purifier tank on right - Chawkbazar Masjid Minaret visible at distance

Reservoir water before passing to chlorination treatment

East view

West view - Lalbagh Shahi Masjid minaret visible at far end

Narrow alley near plant

Dhaka city dwellers remember with gratitude the name of Nawab Khawaja Abdul Ghani for his role in the creation of Water Works at Chandnighat to supply potable water in the city, most notable among his many philanthropic works. The work was started in 1874 with his contribution of over Tk. 2,00,000 and Lord Northbrook laid the foundation stone. In 1878, it became possible to supply drinking water in the town processed through hygienic filtration. Before this, people used water for consumption from river, canals and kutcha wells (paatkua) filled with filth and contaminated germs. Out-break of various diseases in epidemic year after year was common.

The plant established in 19th century now lies hidden amid unplanned jungle of buildings in old Dhaka between Lalbagh Fort and Chawkbazar. The road (water works road) passes through part of Posta, Rahmatganj, Kanshar-hatta, Chandnighat and Churi-hatta. The open space east of Water Works plant beside the riverbank where “Chandni”, the Royal boat of Mughal Subahder Islam Khan moored, is now a slum. Water of Buriganga river for the plant is drawn near this point.

This plant, with its subsequent improvement, supplies 39 million litres of filtered water daily which meets 1.8% of the total water supply of Dhaka. Tanneries and industrial units of Rayerbazar and Hazaribagh everyday pour millions of liters of untreated, highly toxic liquid wastes into the river. Buriganga water around Dhaka has become poisonous and looks pitch black with intolerable stench. It is hardly possible to treat polluted river water to make it fit for human consumption any more. Fortunately, 82% of potable water of Dhaka is drawn from underground source by over 400 production wells, but this source is drying up fast with the falling of underwater table.


Anonymous said...

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