1 week after inauguration, Rs 251 cr pipeline runs dry

Oct 15, 2011, 06:44 IST | Rinkita Gurav

On October 7, Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated the ambitious Yerawali water pipeline for the western suburbs, but it is still not operational, with workers busy conducting trials

In the pre-election rush to garner public support and convince the electorate that it has delivered on its promises, Shiv Sena leaders seem to be going on overdrive to make a flurry of public appearances and inaugurate pending projects at times, even when it is far from achieving completion.

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray inaugurates the pipeline. In the next few days, he is scheduled to inaugurate the Colaba water tunnel, two pumping stations, two fire commanding centres and a major road project

On October 7, Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray, inaugurated BMC's ambitious Rs 251 crore water supply project a tunnel running from Verawali to Yari Road with great fanfare. Seven days on, workers can still be seen hard at work on the 6.1 km-long pipeline.

Ironically, free flowing, forceful jets of water from taps still remains a distant, elusive dream for residents of the western suburbs within the pipeline's reach.

MiD DAY spoke to several civic honchos, all of whom failed to explain why the pipeline had been inaugurated, even while conceding that work on the project was far from complete.

BMC's take
Shiv Sena corporator and Standing Committee Chairperson Rahul Shewale, explained,  "It is not true that we inaugurated the project before its completion.

The inauguration had been planned for October 7, but when we were conducting trials On October 5, problems in the water pressure were detected.
The corporation is working on the problem. I am sure that the pipeline will be operational in a few days."

Additional Municipal Commissioner (water supply) Rajiv Jalota, said, "The trials will continue for a few more days. We are improving the efficacy of the tunnel by supplying water zone-wise.
Two zones have been designated, and it is impossible to supply water to both zones simultaneously."

Ramesh Bambale, an engineer from the BMC Hydraulic Department said, "Water is being supplied to Millat Nagar, Yari Road and Versova, without a glitch.
Supply to the remaining areas will take some time, as we are in the process of joining a pipeline to the tunnel."

Undeterred by the failure of the pipeline to deliver on its promises, Thackeray continues on his inaugurating spree.

Within the next few days, he is scheduled to inaugurate the Colaba water tunnel, two pumping stations at Cleveland and Love Grove, two fire commanding centres at Wadala and Byculla, Baptista garden and Adi Shankaracharya garden, as well as a major road project tagged at Rs 550 crore.

Grand plans
The subterranean tunnel had been built with the intention of minimising leakage and water theft, which are common setbacks suffered by surface pipelines.

Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray inaugurates BMC's ambitious Rs 251 crore water supply project a tunnel running from Verawali to Yari Road

According to BMC officials, the pipe, once operational, will bring a speedy end to all the water woes presently faced by residents of the western suburbs, presently plagued by low pressure.

Residents from as many localities as Millat Nagar, Adarsh Nagar, Lokhandwala, Veera Desai Road, JP Road, parts of Four Bungalows, Yari Road and Behrambaug stand to gain from this pipeline.

Oppn leader speaks
Rajhans Singh, leader of Opposition, BMC, said, "Leaders from the Sena-BJP alliance always appear for important project inaugurations in order to woo voters.
This particular incident makes it clear that Uddhavji is trying hard to convince the electorate that it is only his party that is working for the people. Hence the hasty inauguration even before the project is ready."

How  it will work
Water from reservoir will go directly into the tunnel, which has been placed 200 metres below the ground. This will take care of leakages, water theft and security related issues. The 6.1 km-long tunnel will be connected to shafts that will carry water to the various distribution points.


Anita Mote, D N Nagar resident
If the civic body was aware that they cannot live up to their promises, they shouldn't have jumped the gun and inaugurated the tunnel in such a hurry.

Vikram Oberoi, Private firm employee
Earlier we use to get water twice a day, but nowadays we have to store up on water in the mornings. I get late for office every day because of this problem.

Vishalraje Sawant, Resident of Seven Bungalows
The inauguration was conducted with such a flourish, but the results are nil. Where is the water that was suppose to flow in the tunnel and reach our homes?

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