Tanks in Attukal zone filled in advance, say KWA officials

The multiple pipe-burst on Monday evening, said to be the first of its kind, on an arterial pipeline bringing water from Aruvikkara to the city left many areas in the heart of the capital city dry and is likely to have a cascading effect all across the city where tens of thousands of women have converged to offer Pongala to the presiding deity of the Attukal Bhagavathy temple.

The duration of disruption in water supply is yet to be known, with Kerala Water Authority (KWA) officials stating that it would require between 12 and 20 hours or even more for the repair work to be completed. The work had already begun. The city could suffer a shortage of water for at least two days though alternative arrangements were being made, a senior official said.

Foul play suspected

The 1200 mm pre-stressed concrete pipeline, which has a history of regular leakages, carries 82 MLD water from Aruvikkara to the Observatory Hills tank. On Monday, the pipeline burst at two spots near Koottappara and at one spot each near Peroorkada and Puravoor. The bursts, all in a space of seven to eight kilometres and almost simultaneously, have triggered doubts of foul play behind the entire episode.

With pumping of water from Aruvikkara stopped immediately after the bursts, areas near the affected spots — those adjoining Peroorkada, Powdikonam, Karakulam and Vazhayila — began to feel the heat almost immediately with the public getting no time to store water.

The areas that bore the brunt of the bursts were those in the Peroorkada and Observatory zones of the KWA. These included Mannanthala, Ulloor, the Medical College area, Pattom, Kesavadasapuram and Chakka and those under the Observatory zone, including the Secretariat region, Vellayambalam and Thycaud.

According to KWA Managing Director Ashok Kumar Singh, the Attukal zone would not be affected since the 36 MLD pipe taking water to the region was safe and the tanks there were filled in advance, keeping the festival in view. Areas catered to by the PTP Nagar reservoir too were not likely to suffer. Efforts were on to pump 15MLD of water from the PTP Nagar reservoir to the Observatory Hill reservoir, Mr. Singh said.