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DPHE implementing Tk 371.05 cr project in Rajshahi

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BSS, Rajshahi :
The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) has been implementing 14 water supply and sanitation related schemes involving around Taka 371.05 crore during last nine and half years in Rajshahi division.
Implementation works of two of the projects- 'Special Rural Water Supply' and 'GOB UNICEF'- were completed during the first five-year term at a total cost of around Taka 163.46 crore.
"Currently, we are implementing twelve projects in the division comprising eight districts with an estimated cost of around Taka 207.59 crore," said Abujar Masudar Rahman, Superintending Engineer of DPHE.
In addition to necessary infrastructure development, installation works of 254 shallow tube-wells, 2,954 shallow pumps, 647 modified pumps, 72 hydraulic pumps and 51 ring-wells are progressing fast under the Taka 19.10-crore water supply in rural areas pro.
Under the Taka 4.87-crore national sanitation project, construction works of 7,444 sets of low-cost sanitary latrines, 57 community toilets and two public toilets are going on. Commissioning works of 504 submersible
pumps, 551 submersible pumps with shallow tube-wells, 392 wash blocks and 107 shallow pumps are progressing under Taka 106.65-crore primary education development project. Works of setting up of 15.15-kilometer pipeline and four pump houses are also progressing under the Taka 14.86-crore project of water supply and environmental sanitation in municipalities located at Upazila Headquarter and Growth Center. Installation works of 50 shallow tube-wells with 6 No pumps were completed under the Taka 42 lakh water supply, sanitation and health education project.
"We are building and installing 25-kilometer pipelines, four production pumps, three pump houses and one water purification plant under the Taka 19.82-crore water supply in 37 district town project," said Engineer Rahman.  More than 900 houses will get water supply connection upon successful implementation of the project.
Under the Taka 14.92 crore Water Supply System Improvement in Sirajgonj Municipality project, 50-kilometer pipeline, two water reservoirs, eight tube-wells, four production pumps, four pump houses and four transformers with electricity connection will be installed.
Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan of Department of Geology and Mining of Rajshahi University attributed that the initiatives will contribute a lot to reduce the acute crisis of drinking water in the drought-prone barind area.  Referring to his research findings he said there is a shortage of drinking water in the region during dry season and the problem has become acute for the last couple of years.
The existing shallow water technologies become ineffective currently and demand for deep tube-wells has increased in the area due to rapid decline of groundwater level along with arsenic contamination in shallow aquifer in many areas.
Dr Chowdhury said villagers cannot withdraw groundwater through tube-wells as the water level goes down abnormally during dry season.  He said the excessive use of groundwater through irrigation and the existing adverse impact of climate change are putting local people in trouble since the hand-driven tube-wells are not functioning here in dry season.  The changed climatic condition has been posing a serious threat to the overall public health in the vast Barind tract, especially Tanore and Godagari upazilas in Rajshahi and Nachole and Gomostapur upazilas in Chapainawabgonj.

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