The 30-year-old 600 mm main pipeline to Kumbalam that burst on Tuesday night is expected to be repaired by Thursday night.

Senior KWA officials said the work could not be completed on Wednesday because the large concrete block of the road median was beginning to cave in as the trench was getting ready for the workers to make the repairs.

Work got delayed as the concrete was first reinforced with hydra ropes. By late evening on Thursday, a new pipe was being fixed. Meanwhile, repair works on the supply pipeline near the Aroor bridge that had burst more than a week ago were completed.

Kumbalanghi and Chellanam were the affected areas. The task was difficult as a special joint was made to plug the leak underwater. However, water supply will be restored only after repairs at Kumbalam are over, said the Assistant Executive Engineer who was supervising the work at the site.

Water supply is expected to be restored by Friday.

Residents near Kumbalam toll plaza had complained that the pipe burst was the result of heavy vehicles, especially extra-wide trailer lorries, passing over the space where the pipes were laid.

They also complained that the NH authorities had not heeded pleas for a walkway along the road to cross the toll plaza. Even street lights were not being turned on during the night hours, said one of the residents in the area.

The pipe burst brings to the fore again the lackadaisical approach of the civic agencies in executing a work.

Despite the KWA’s appeal for changing the pipeline’s position when the NH built the road, it was not taken seriously nor was it pursued by the KWA, even though a cost estimate was submitted.

Officials of the KWA said the old pipeline probably could not withstand the extra pressure that came into the old pipeline as the water meant for Kumbalanghi and Chellanam got diverted to this line because of the leak that was being mended at Aroor.

West Kochi protests for its share of water

People of West Kochi, especially those from Edakochi and Perumbadappu came out in large numbers on Thursday blocking the highway opposite Valiyakulam ground protesting against the Kerala Water Authority for poor supply of water.

Commercial complexes, hotel projects and flats are being provided water at the cost of the people in West Kochi, said Dinesh Mani, district secretary, CPI(M), inaugurating a protest meeting. He said that KWA officials have to explain how resorts and other commercial establishments which are heavy consumers have been given water connections.

The protest march that began from Aquinas’ College in Edakochi converged at the highway opposite the Valiyakulam ground. The demonstrators said Ministers had made tall claims of resolving West Kochi’s water woes while inaugurating the second phase of what is known as the HUDCO project.

Joseph Xavier Kalapurackal, heading the Edakochi-Perumbadappu Kudivella Samara Samithy, said the 35,000 people of Edakochi and Perumbadappu had more than enough water for about a month when the interconnection at Karnakodam junction was activated to supply the extra 5 million litres of water. But the joy was short-lived. It is less than the 5 mld that used to be provided earlier.

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