WASA water has high level of chromium

Tannery waste in Barraging to blame

The water of the old city has become polluted because of the presence of more than the acceptable level of chromium in it. A large number of people of the area are suffering from several water borne diseases because of drinking this contaminated water.

The chromium was coming to the water from the river Barraging through the Waterworks of WAS at Chandnighat. There is no facility to treat chromium in the plant. WAS supplies around three crore litres of water daily from the plant to old Dhaka.

Water of this area also comes from ground water sources of WAS.

People living adjacent to the Waterworks who have to use only the water of Barraging are the main victims of chromium contamination.

The acceptable level of chromium in water is 0.2 mg per litre while the water of Barraging bears 0.9 mg.

The people of the areas including Chakbazar, Shoarighat, Badamtoli, Lalbagh and Posta were badly affected. Most of them were suffering from skin diseases and stomach problems.

The ‘catflok’ that was installed in the plant last month was unable to resist the entrance of the high level of chromium.

Admitting the matter, the Managing Director of WAS Dr Khondoker Azharul Haque said while talking to The Independent that he had nothing to do because WAS had no technical support to treat chromium contaminated water though it was an alarming situation.

He said that the tannery owners were responsible for this dangerous situation. They discharged the tannery effluents directly into the Barraging, he added.

Dr Haque said that they had submitted a project titled "Tannery Effluent Treatment Plant" to the Ministry of Industry to solve the problem about one year back. Ministry sources, however, said that it was yet to decide in this connection.

The WAS MD expressed apprehension that the situation could be more acute during the dry seasons if proper steps were not taken immediately.

Source: The Independent, May 10, 2001