Water supply to West Kochi regions remained disrupted through the day following a burst in the 700 mm concrete pipe near Atlantis late on Friday night.

The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) was on Saturday faced with an uphill task in repairing the fault in the main supply line to West Kochi following operational hazards. Water supply to West Kochi regions remained disrupted through the day following a burst in the 700 mm concrete pipe near Atlantis late on Friday night.

A senior KWA official said the work is likely to be completed only by around 3 a.m. on Sunday.

“Pumping will start immediately after the pipeline is restored. Initially, water will be pumped at a low pressure to ensure that the repaired pipeline is able to withstand the supply before resuming pumping at the normal pressure,” he said.

The underground power cables passing over the pipeline made repair works extremely difficult. KSEB officials visited the site on Saturday morning to ensure that the cables were not disturbed.

The workers could not dig a pit straight down and pull out the broken pipe due to the presence of the power cable. Instead, they had to dig a hole beside it to pull out the pipe and this slowed down the pace of the work considerably. The same circuitous route had to be followed to replace the burst pipe segment. This also forced pulling down a five-metre stretch of the compound wall of the Cochin Shipyard to avoid the possibility of it collapsing on passersby. Traffic on the Thevara-Ernakulam route was reduced to a narrow lane in front of the shipyard due to the work. Workers also faced difficulty in dumping the dug up earth owing to space constraints. Though the work started on Saturday morning, excavation of the pipe could only begin in the afternoon after pumping out the water.

The burst pipeline was almost 35 years old and should have been replaced at least a decade ago. The age-old pipe had become increasingly susceptible to bursting, throwing drinking water supply out of gear far too often. The KWA has plans to replace the pipeline but has been forced to withhold it for want of space in the area.

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