Mega water supply project in Khulna city

UNB, Dhaka :
With its only 0.7 million people out of 1.5 million enjoying piped water facility, a South Korean firm, Hyosung Goodsprings, is going to be awarded a Tk 521.34 crore contract for setting up a surface water treatment plant and constructing its impounding reservoir to ensure drinking water supply to Khulna City Corporation (KCC) areas.
According to official sources, now KCC’s only 37 per cent areas out of 45.60sq km areas are covered by the Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (KWASA), depriving huge population of one of the old and major cities of the country of safe drinking water facility.
They said KWASA is now largely dependent on underground water to supply drinking water to its different areas, but the gradual fall in groundwater level is reducing the scope for expanding its water supply coverage to newer areas.
“This has prompted the government to go for undertaking new projects to expand the water supply coverage using surface water,” said an official at the Local Government Division in Dhaka.
He said, the government conducted a feasibility study with financial assistance from Japanese donor agency JICA and the multilateral donor Asian Development Bank (ADB) on increasing water supply to Khulna city by using surface water.
As the study findings have been found to be positive, the ADB and JICA came forward to finance a mega project, ‘Khulna Water Supply’, involving Tk 2558 crore, aiming to increase the water supply coverage in the city.
Of the total financing, JICA will provide Tk 1,284 crore while ADB Tk 523 crore and the rest by the government. The project also received the Executive Committee of National Economic Council’s (Ecnec’s) nod.
The setting up of surface water treatment plant and constructing its impounding reservoir is part of the mega project.
To implement the surface water treatment plant and construct its impounding reservoir project, KWASA invited an international tender which was responded by three international bidders.
Among the three, finally the South Korean firm – Hyosung Goodsprings came out to be the most responsive bidder offering a cost of Tk 521.34 crore, including tax and duties.
Officials said the Local Government Division recently sent a proposal to the Cabinet Purchase Committee to award the contract to the Korean firm. If the proposal is received, the nod of the Cabinet body, KWASA will then sign a contract with the Korean firm.
Officials said once the project is implemented, KWASA’s water treatment capacity will go up by another 110 million litres a day. At present, it could hardly supply 30 million litres of water per day by pipeline connections by 32 large pump stations and 42 mini pumps. Another 90 million litres of water is also supplied by its 10,000 hand tube-wells.
They said the proposed impounding reservoir would be able to preserve 775,200 cubic metres of water during the dry season.