June 30, 2022
Even though the authorities are yet to pick the contractor

Even though the authorities are yet to pick the contractor

Chittagong city dwellers to get long-awaited sewerage system

Currently, wastes are dumped into the Karnaphuli and Halda rivers through canals and from there to the sea

Chittagong city’s long wait for a proper sewerage system and a waste treatment plant is finally going to end.

For 56 years since its establishment Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (CWASA) has gone without having any proper sewage responsibility, its activity limited mainly to supply of pure drinking water.

In the absence of a complete sewerage system in the country’s second largest city, wastes are dumped into the Karnaphuli and Halda rivers through canals and from there to the sea.

If the new project is implemented, the wastes will be treated at plant before being dumped.

The project will be implemented by dividing the entire city into six zones. In the first phase, out of 41 wards, 2 million urban dwellers of 11 wards will be brought under the sewerage system.

According to sources at WASA, the sewerage project (first phase) of Chittagong metropolis was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) at the end of 2018. The main objective of this project is to build a sewerage system for Chittagong dwellers through construction of proper sanitation facilities.

Even though the authorities are yet to pick the contractor for the project worth Tk3,808,58,77,000 , it is certain that the work will go to a foreign company.

Out of the total expenditure, the government will provide Tk3,758 crore.

Sources close to the project said South Korean contractor Taiyong Engineering and Construction Company Ltd is in hot pursuit of the contract.

It also has got the work order for Bhandal-Juri Treatment Plant of Chittagong WASA and the Sheikh Russell Water Treatment Plant in Madunaghat.

According to sources, Chinese and Korean companies won 36 tenders for the implementation of the Chattogram WASA Sewage Treatment Plant Project and related activities. Of these, 33 tenders were won by Chinese companies and the remaining by Korean companies.

In this regard, Project Director (PD) and supervisor of Chittagong WASA Engineer Ariful Islam said international tenders were invited for three packages for WASA’s wastewater treatment plant project. Of these, one company has won 36 tenders and another has won 33 tenders. No order has been issued to any organization yet. It is under process.Although there are multiple contractors to the project, Taiyong is assumed to be the sole bidder in this project as they are working on two projects earlier. But the work on the Bhandal-Juri treatment plant project has ben put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic. And so, the project authority is now feeling the importance of discussing whether the same company is capable of working on another mega project important for Bangladesh’s infrastructure.

Sources claimed that there are doubts about the company’s ability to handle larger projects as the quality and progress of work on the Bhandal-Juri project is not visible as per the expectation. The value of these three agreements together will exceed Tk4,000 crore.When contacted, Engineer AKM Faizullah, Managing Director of Chittagong WASA, told UNB that many local and foreign companies have submitted their application. Verification and sorting are in progress in this regard. Moreover, it may take some more time because of the ongoing pandemic. “We will inform you who will get the contract when it is finalized.”

Chittagong WASA board member Kazi Mohsin said no decision has been taken at the WASA board meeting on who would get the contract for the implementation of the project. He said the tender process for the project will be completed transparently. There will be no irregularities or corruption, he said.

Meanwhile, Bhandal-Juri project under the Chittagong WASA, 60km-long gravity pipeline, a water treatment plant, distribution line, pump station with tanks at Patiya, another pump station at Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) and two water reservoirs will be constructed. The Chittagong WASA Board has recommended that the Korean company Taiyong take charge of the project as a construction contractor.

The cost of Bhandal-Juri project has been estimated at Tk373.80 crore. Under the Economic Development Cooperation Fund, Korean Exim Bank is providing loans for this project on easy terms. The Bhandal-Juri project is expected to be completed by August 2022.

On the other hand, Sheikh Russel Water Treatment Plant (Madunaghat) is capable of refining 90 million litres of water daily.

The Korean company Taiyong took three years to construct it. It has been constructed at a cost of Tk1,890 crore under the Chittagong Water Supply Improvement and Sanitation Project.

The work of this project started in 2011 as a joint venture of the Bangladesh government, World Bank and Chittagong WASA. Out of the total expenditure, the World Bank provided Tk1,494.90 crore, Bangladesh government provided Tk370.37 crore and Chittagong WASA Tk22.54 crore for this project.

The project started on a trial basis in November 2018. However, it was fully launched in January