The repair of pipelines that would ensure normalising water supply to Chandigarh and Mohali is likely to take two more days. While the repair of the pipeline for Phase III is at its fag end,that of Phase IV is still underway. The slushy conditions in the area are making the execution of the work difficult. Teams of workers and officials are deployed at the site round the clock to ensure that the work is completed at the earliest.
Water is supplied to Chandigarh and Mohali from the four phases of Kajauli Water Works. The current water crisis is due to this Phase III and IV pipeline damage near Gharuan in Mohali. The repair is being undertaken jointly by the Municipal Corporation,Chandigarh and Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA). The material is being supplied by GMADA and the work force by MC.
As many as 70 workers are deployed at the site in different shifts to execute work. Officials from Chandigarh and Punjab are also present at the site round the clock to oversee the repair. At present,the damaged part of the pipelines is being replaced and is being connected with the existing pipelines.
One of the problems being faced in the execution of work is the slushy conditions prevailing in the area. The workers at the site are facing difficulty even standing in the pit where the pipelines are present as they tend to sink into the soil. Equipment for pumping out water and dewatering of the soil has been installed for ensuring continuation of the work. Getting material to the site is a tough task with the vehicles also getting stuck.
Officials said that work can get completed if it does not rain for the next two days. In case of rains,the conditions become worse as water fills up the pits. This would delay the work further.
An official said that the pipelines for Phases I and II are made of mild steel that lasts longer. However,those of the other two phases are made of concrete. The damaged parts are now being replaced with mild steel pipes. Officials opine that till the pipeline is not disturbed,as was the case here,these may last several years. The damaged parts will have to be replaced with mild steel pipes.
The pipelines broke down more than a week ago when the work for laying of pipelines was underway for the Phases V and VI,the two new phases that are being started. There is a 50 feet stretch of land on which the pipelines are laid parallel to each other. As digging for laying new pipelines was underway,the earth caved in damaging the existing pipelines. The repair was undertaken earlier,but when water was released the pipelines could not take the pressure and got damaged further. Work was restarted two days ago after water was pumped out.
Pipelines are not laid straight throughout. At some place where damage has occurred,these take a 30 degree curve. Officials said that the pipelines has taken shape as per the alignment of the land. The first of the pipelines was laid in 1980 and more than a decade later the pipelines for Phases III and IV were laid.
Water available in pipelines has been reduced to half
Kajauli Water Works is the lifeline of Chandigarh and Mohali. Each of the four pipelines carries 20 million gallons of water daily. Of this,67 mgd is received by Chandigarh. The four pipelines are laid on a stretch of land 50 feet wide.
Due to the two damaged pipelines,the water available has reduced to half.
Kajauli is at a distance of around 45 km from Chandigarh. There is space left only for pipelines for Phase V and VI to be laid. Due to the space constrain it was decided that the pipelines being laid would be of double the capacity than the existing ones. Though a decision of sharing of water is yet to be taken.
Water crisis continued on Wednesday as well with the residents in many sectors complaining of reduced water supply hours. The residents claimed that even during the designated water supply hours they were not receiving water. There are complaints that overhead tanks are not being filled up. The residents on the upper floors are a harried lot having to fill buckets of water from the ground floor and carrying it upstairs.