Untraceable water pipelines leave residents in the lurch

Jan 09, 2013, 07:24 IST | Vivek Sabnis

Civic body engineers cannot trace 8-inch pipe that supplies water to Nal Stop; local corporator says PMC doesn't have map of underground water supply lines

Although broken pipes might seem routine in the city, for residents of Nal Stop inadequate water supply has led to a shocking revelation — the 63-year-old PMC has no official record of pipes laid in their area or in the city.

The PMC also has no mapping of its drainage and storm water pipe network. With no intimate knowledge of this tubular underworld, the PMC’s engineering department can’t trace an eight-inch water pipe that supplies water to Nal Stop residents on Karve Road since nine months.

The matter came to light after it was raised by local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator Madhuri Sahastrabuddhe. Speaking to MiD DAY, she said, “Till date there is no trace of the water line, as the civic body’s water supply department lacks accurate information on their precise positions.

I spent three entire nights at the busy Nal Stop junction in April last year, trying to trace the missing pipeline after residents complained of inadequate water supply. PMC had a laid down an eight-inch pipeline from SNDT Water Works across the Karve Road long ago. Our efforts to trace the pipe with PMC engineers proved futile. Residents from the area get water once a day in comparison to the nearby dwellings that get water supply twice a day.”

“Karve Road was narrow till the 1980s, and the road widening work may have led to the pipe getting concealed under the road divider. PMC should look for the pipe under the divider, but it would be difficult as the road is chock-a-block with vehicular traffic till late hours of the day,” said Sahastrabuddhe
Mehendale Garage resident Prafulla Dev said, “We get low pressure water during the evenings, which causes inconvenience to us. Despite several complaints to the PMC, our grievances have not been addressed since several months and we have been left in the lurch.”

Shashank Bhide, another resident from the area, said, “The water supply is being hampered either due to a leaking pipe or a choke, which needs to be resolved at the earliest by the civic body.”

Ramesh Pandit, a developer involved in redevelopment projects near Karve Road, said, “We are not able to trace the sewerage line near our new project despite several attempts to locate it. Instead of helping us, the PMC has asked us to find it on our own. Ultimately, it is a question of hygiene for the residents.”

“The Karve Road, Prabhat Road and part of Bhandarkar Road were developed after 1960. The pipelines laid by the PMC must have become old. It needs to change the pipeline by tracing the exact location,” said Dr M P Mangudkar, who has written a book on the history of the PMC with detailed information of water supply schemes.  

The other side
Jagdish Khanore, executive engineer with PMC’s water supply department admitted that there was no map made for the water supply line network for the entire city. “We are gathering the data of the past six dates and also updating it. We have already started the work of preparing the map of water supply lines along with the drainage and storm water line network. It will be certainly easier for us to identity the leakages and technical snags in the system. The work is expected to complete in the next three to four months.”

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