Second instance in four days; supply likely to be restored this evening

The pre-stressed concrete (PSC) transmission mainline carrying water from Aruvikkara to the Observatory Hills tank, known for numerous bursts in the recent past, lived up to its notorious record with a major burst on Tuesday.

The burst, noticed around 4 p.m. near the Karakulam bridge on the Thiruvananthapuram-Shencottah road, is likely to disrupt water supply at several places in the heart of the city and towards the western parts till Wednesday evening.

Kerala Water Authority (KWA) officials said the burst occurred in a portion of the 1,200-mm mainline that narrowed down to 1,000 mm at the particular point. Excavation work was on to remove the mud over the pipeline and ascertain how big the leak or burst was. This would take several hours. A mild steel pipe piece would have to be lowered into the trench and welded on to the existing pipe at both ends to replace the affected portion. Repairs would take up to 24 hours. Normal water supply to the affected areas was likely to be restored only towards Wednesday evening, they said.

Senior KWA officials were on the spot to monitor the work.

The areas affected include the General Hospital and surrounding areas, Pattoor, Chakka, Pettah, Statue, Thampanoor, Vanchiyoor, and parts of Veli, KWA Superintending Engineer K. Sashi said.

This is the second pipe-burst in the city in the past four days, with a burst on one of the 500-mm pipelines carrying water from the Water Works campus tank to the low-level zone in the city disrupting water supply on Saturday.

The bursts on the 1,200-mm transmission main have been a regular feature, with the 15-year-old pipeline being weak and corroded at several points.

Work on a Rs.50 crore-project to replace the pipeline, from Aruvikkara to Peroorkada with mild steel pipes, is dragging on. Officials said it would take at least another month to complete the project.