The digging of the western margin of Pankaja Mill Road to widen it has damaged drinking water supply pipes and telephone lines.

An excavator ploughed through the lines on Wednesday, disrupting water supply and telephone services.

Water leaking from a damaged line stagnates in a pit in front of Pankaja Mill.

The State Highways Department is carrying out the widening of the arterial road in view of the World Classical Tamil Conference in June.

This is one of the more than 70 roads targeted for improvements.

While residents blamed this on the lack of co-ordination between the State Highways, the Coimbatore Corporation and the telephone services providers, official sources in the road work implementing agency said on Thursday that most of the lines were laid closer to the road surface, in violation of the norm that all lines must pass about three-and-a-half feet below it.

An official said some water and telephone lines were only a foot deep. It was not fair to expect the person operating the excavator to know of this.

To solve the present problem, the department had stopped the road work in the affected area.

It would resume after the lines were laid deeper. Some of the residents were already doing it, the official said.

Resident of a nearby layout and member of Citizens’ Voice Club D. Kondaswamy said the implementing agency has to be wary of such problems as people could be inconvenienced severely by disruption in the supply of water.

“Power supply to some streetlights has also been disrupted,” he said.

The affected area, in Ward 22 of the Corporation, would have to struggle for water for a few days if the lines restoration work was not prompt, he pointed out. Councillor of the ward T.R. Gomathy said efforts were being made to get the supply restored.

Till the lines were repaired, alternative measures such as the supply of water in tankers could be worked out.

On why people and workers did not follow the norm of laying the lines three-and-a-half feet, the councillor said this was because of poor monitoring by officials.

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