Local government minister Md Tajul Islam on Saturday said that withdrawal of water from the river Halda for supplying drinking water to the under-construction Bangabandhu Industrial City at Mirsharai in Chattogram would not be harmful.

Referring to Institute of Water Modeling’s study, Tajul at a programme in the port city said that supplying 14 crore litres of water daily from the river Halda to the economic zone would not affect fish-breeding in the river.

‘There is no scope of spreading confusion regarding the proposed water treatment on the Halda though the river does not get any water from the upstream during the winter rather receive water from the Kaptai Lake, which is enough for operating the treatment plant,’ he said.

But the economic zone, he said, would create jobs for 30 lakh people and would change the economic activities of Chattogram and its neighbouring districts.

‘So nobody should create controversy regarding the water treatment plant rather should work together in the greater interest of continuing the development works,’ said Tajul while inaugurating an LED bulb distribution programme.

China donated Bangladesh government 13 lakh LED lights for popularising the cheap-electricity consuming bulbs among the people of Bangladesh, LGRD ministry officials said.

Fisheries ministry, water resources ministry, the River conservation Commission, the Department of Environment and independent researchers, however, expressed concern over the water treatment project initiated by the Chattogram Water Supply and Sewerage Authority at a Tk 3,500 crore for supplying water to Bangabandhu Industrial City.

They demanded a review of the plan and proper feasibility study in this regard, and recommended alternative, arguing the water plant would impact Halda’s unique ecosystem that helps carps and other fishes spawn.

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