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Pipeline burst hits traffic on busy road

A 32-inch water pipeline burst Saturday,leading to a cave-in on the spot and causing traffic congestion opposite Girgaum Chowpatty on the road towards south Mumbai.

A 32-inch water pipeline burst Saturday,leading to a cave-in on the spot and causing traffic congestion opposite Girgaum Chowpatty on the road towards south Mumbai.

The 100-year-old British era pipeline,which supplies water to most parts of south Mumbai,burst at 5 am during water supply hours,causing heavy flooding on the main road near Girgaum Chowpatty.

“During the repair work,we had to dig the road,causing a 40×40 feet crater due to which we had to isolate part of the main road. Since only a part of the main road was available for traffic movement,there was heavy congestion on the stretch from Wilson College to Charni Road station,” said R Sayyed,assistant engineer (water department) of the D-Ward.

“After the repair of water pipeline that would be completed by Saturday evening,the road department will have to begin construction of the concrete road,which has been damaged due to the leakage,” said the official.

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More than 400 labourers and civic workers have been deployed.

The plan to discard six pipelines,which includes the one that burst Saturday,and transfer the water connection to the newly-built Malabar Hill water tunnel,had been put on hold by the civic administration earlier this year.

Barely a month before the monsoon was to set in,the BMC had approached the traffic department for permission to carry out the work of transferring the water supply from the pipeline to the tunnel,but later decided to take up the construction work post-monsoon.“We had approached the traffic department for permission to carry out the work,but as the traffic movement would be affected on the major south Mumbai road,we did not get the permission in May. Hence,though the 100-year old pipelines were set to be removed in May this year under the Malabar Hill water tunnel project,work had to be halted mid-way,” said Sayyed.

The Malabar Hill water tunnel project includes the construction of a tunnel from Kilachand Garden to Cross Maidan and gradually transferring the water supply from the water pipelines in these areas to the tunnel.

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While the first phase of this tunnel — Kilachand Garden to S K Patil Garden — was commissioned in 2011,the second phase,from S K Patil Garden to Cross Maidan,was completed in January this year.“There were six water lines which needed to be discarded and the water supply had to be transferred to the tunnel,of which three have been completed. For the remaining,we are awaiting permissions from traffic department,” said Sayyed.

First published on: 25-08-2013 at 00:44 IST
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