DHAKA, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Water scarcity has aggravated the plight of dwellers in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka in addition to persistent gas and power shortage all over the country amid heat wave in the recent days.
Shortfall of gas first triggered protest over the utility crises in Dhaka, a city of about 15 million people who have been suffering from at least nine to ten hours of electricity outage each day.
State-run Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation, known as Petrobangla Thursday said it supplies currently about 2,100 million cubic feet of natural gas a day against the demand of over 2,500 million cubic feet.
With the temperature soaring to about 36-38 degrees Celsius during a last few days and diversion of 1,500 megawatt of power to the rural areas for boro (winter) paddy cultivation, the power outage coupled with scorching sun brought the city's water supply infrastructure almost down to its knee, shutting down hundreds of thousands of household pumps in the better parts of the day.
Jakaria Al Mahmud, a spokesman of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA), said about 10-hour load shedding daily affected extraction of water at all their 607 water pump stations.
"We've the daily capacity to supply over 2.0 billion litres of water to the capital and its adjacent Narayanganj town against a peak demand of 2.25 billion liters," he said.
But another official of the Dhaka WASA on condition of anonymity said the gap between demand and supply is actually more than what the authority estimated.
Citizens in various parts of the capital city took to the street and vented their anger over massive load shedding, acute water shortage and gas crisis that have crippled their routine life.
Meteorologist Farah Diba said there is a possibility of further rise in temperature this month if monsoon rains put off.
Against the backdrop of rising temperature, it is feared that the situation may worsen with increasing demand for electricity in the coming days.
The authorities have tightened security across the country fearing spontaneous outburst of anger over frequent power outage, leading English newspaper the Financial Express reported quoting officials.
The country's overall electricity generation is now reportedly hovering about 5,600 megawatts (mw) per day against demand of around 7,000 mw.
Apart from Dhaka residents, business leaders, who are also bearing the brunt, have already expressed their sheer dissatisfaction with the nagging power, gas and water situation.
The Bangladesh government last week ask the industrial units to suspend their operation for 12 hours beginning from 6 p.m. everyday.