Water supply to city areas cut off; no proper sketches of pipelines

A 600-mm cast iron water pipeline burst near Kochi Metro’s work site at Kaloor early Sunday morning, cutting off water supply to areas such as High Court, Pachalam, Vaduthala, Kacheripady, S.R.M. Road, Kaloor and Chittoor.

It also threw into disarray metro’s pile capping works. Metro sources said they were caught off guard by the presence of the mainline pipe on one side of the road, since Kerala Water Authority (KWA) did not have information on its precise location. Neither had scanners detected the pipeline.

“Following chance discovery of pipelines at piling sites, we are doubly cautious while excavating mud at piling sites. Pile capping covers a wider area and workers were taken by surprise as water gushed out of the line that broke. With the work site getting flooded following the rupture, work here has been halted till KWA repairs the pipe,” sources said.

The officials said KWA’s inability to provide information on the precise location of water and sewage pipelines often held up metro’s civil works at Kaloor and M.G. Road. The Kerala State Electricity Board and BSNL too had little idea of the location of power and telephone cables, they alleged. In a similar incident, work on the metro station at Kadavanthra had been hit after a telephone cable was cut when piling was underway. Metro workers also had a providential escape when excavators cut into power cables including 11-kV lines.

KWA sources said about two metres of the pipe had to be cut and replaced. The work was likely to be completed by Monday afternoon.

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