THE SUPPLY of drinking water in Kutch remained disrupted on Saturday as the pipeline from river Narmada, which carries water to the arid district, developed a breach near Bhachau town early in the morning. This is second time in around two years that the pipeline has developed a breach.
Officers of Gujarat Water Infrastructure Limited (GWIL), a state government enterprise, which executes major projects, said that the Maliya-Varsamedi pipeline developed a breach at Khirai village, around 14 km away from Bhachau town, at 7.30 am on Saturday. The 91 km pipeline carries drinking water to Kutch from the Maliya branch canal of Narmada in Morbi district. “The pipeline developed a breach due to corrosion. The area where the breach has been reported is a saline zone, which affected the mild-steel pipeline of 1.4 metre diameter,” said Chandrasinh Zala, senior manager of GWIL.
Zala added that the original thickness of the pipeline, when it was laid in 2002, was 10 mm. It has, however, reduced to just 2 mm at the place where the breach was reported this morning.
“We have stopped pumping water from Maliya. The operation to weld the broken section is on. The pipeline is likely to be repaired by around 8 pm on Saturday. Water supply will start 12 hours after it is repaired,” Zala further said.
Lalji Fufal, superintending engineer of Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board in Kutch, said the total drinking water demand of the state’s largest district is 470 million litres per day (MLD). “Around 201 MLD comes from the Narmada. But the breach means the supply will not be available for at least 36 hours.,” said Fufal.