Power crisis is forcing the Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) to suspend its water lifting operations for more than 11 hours daily on an average in each of its total 421 pumps, official sources said, report agencies.
"The situation is worsening. All the areas of the Dhaka city have been affected by water crisis except the Minto Road, Eskaton, Siddeshwari Road and part of Motijheel," a Dhaka WASA official said.
Referring to suspension of operation in 80 pumps for 217 hours on February 22, he said the situation is getting worse day by day. "If the present situation continues, it will be tougher for us to meet the daily water requirement of the city-dwellers," he said.
Sources at the Dhaka WASA said the effect of the power shortage is multifarious. "It takes three hours to resume operation of a pump if it remains idle for one hour," said another official of the WASA.
The WASA supplies 1.5 to 1.6 billion litres water each day against the demand for 2.0 billion litres in the city. Currently the water supplying capacity of the Dhaka WASA is 1.73 billion litres per day.
Officials said the WASA cannot go for full production due to interruption in power supply.
At present, the WASA has 421 deep tubewells, four water treatment plants (WTPs) and 22 mobile vehicles to supply water to the city residents.
According to the Dhaka Electricity Supply Authority (DESA) and the Dhaka Electric Supply Company Ltd (DESCO) shortage of power in the capital is now around 550 megawatt (MW).
The authorities were forced to go for a 1,200 MW load-shedding Sunday across the country, as a 71-MW power generation unit at Baghabari tripped and the 360 MW CDC Globeleq Haripur plant failed to resume its scheduled operation after maintenance.
Of the huge power-cut, capital Dhaka alone had to experience some 500 MW load-shedding to manage the power distribution system, said the officials of the Power Development Board and the Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (DESA).
According to sources in the Load Dispatch Centre, with the tripping of 71 MW unit Sunday, all the three generation units at Baghabari station, including a 100 MW PDB unit and a 45 MW Westmont unit, are now closed.
PDB officials said the shutdown of the generation units at Baghabari would add to the ongoing electricity crisis, particularly in the northern region.
On the other hand, the failure of 360 MW Globeleq Haripur plant in Narayanganj to resume production as per schedule will deepen the power crisis in the capital and its adjoining areas.
The plant, shut down on February 17 for carrying out maintenance works, was scheduled to resume operation Sunday, PDB officials said.
Globeleq manager Reaz Uddin, however, said the plant is scheduled to resume generation from March 12.
"But we are trying our best to resume operation as early as possible… even the operation of the plant may start this (Sunday) night," he said.