A major pipeline-burst on the Aruvikkara-Observatory Hill transmission mainline of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) early on Wednesday is likely to affect water supply to several areas in the city till noon on Thursday.

The pipeline burst near the Anarkali Mandapam at Vazhayila on a stretch where the 1200-mm pre-stressed concrete line narrows down to 900 mm. A KWA team began repairs around 9 a.m., by first digging out the 900-mm pipe. It will be replaced by a mild steel (MS) pipe. The MS pipe has been brought from Aruvikkara, where work on replacing the existing 1200-mm PSC pipeline with MS pipes is progressing.

KWA Chief Engineer (Southern Region) P. Sreekumaran Nair told The Hindu that incessant rain had hampered the work to remove the broken pipe, with mud slipping into the trench that was dug. A mud retaining structure would have to be put in place to enable smooth progress of the work.

The replacement MS pipe is likely to be put in place and welded late at night and trial pumping would be possible only by Thursday morning. Normal supply was expected to be restored by noon on Thursday, he said, adding that efforts were on to speed up the process.

This is the first major burst in about a month after a series of similar bursts on the 1200-mm pipeline at four points on February 25. It has forced the utility to stop pumping from the Aruvikkara reservoir to the Observatory Hill tank. Water supply was disrupted in a few elevated areas near Peroorkada and other areas catered to by the Observatory Hill tank, including Vazhuthacaud, Vellayambalam, Statue, PMG, Pattom, Medical College, Pattoor, Pettah, Kannammoola, Chakka and the airport area.

The KWA is making arrangements for tanker supply of water to the affected areas, officials said. The public can call up the Emergency and Helplines on 0471-2322674, 155313 (toll free), 0471-2328654 and 2328992 (extension for both - 400).

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