SEVERAL TRANS-GOMTI localities continued to experience acute water crisis for the second in the wake of Setu collapse and subsequent rupturing of the main water pipeline underneath it.
While the water supply, according to general manager VU Bishnoi of Jal Nigam, would be restored by Wednesday evening, the Setu would remain cut off to traffic for another 15 days! “We would now have to build retaining walls on both the sides to ensure that the incident doesn’t reoccur. And this is likely to take 15 days,” said junior engineer PK Singh of the Construction and Design Services of Jal Nigam. Singh said this would not be possible unless traffic on the bridge is stopped. This construction unit of the Jal Nigam has been entrusted with the task of building two huge archways on each end of the bridge as part of Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan’s beautification plan for the Gomti.
With the Jal Nigam engineers digging up the road-divider on the bridge to carry out the repair work, the incoming traffic that was initially allowed from Lucknow University Road too was stopped on Tuesday. The deserted bridge was literally turned into a cricket pitch by the kids from the nearby slum-dwellers colony (Valmiki Nagar) much to the amusement of the passers-by. As workers armed with sledgehammer and blowtorch dug up a trench for the new pipeline, Bishnoi said that he and his team, including executive engineer Rajendra Kumar, had been working round-the-clock to repair the damage since 3 pm from Sunday.
“We are facing a lot of problem in getting the requisite material, like the water pipes and other infrastructure needed for the job transported to the site because of the perennial traffic snarls,” he said. Once the new pipeline is laid, the Jal Sansthan officials would be asked to resume the water supply, he added.
Several senior officers of Jal Nigam and Jal Sansthan visited the site to take stock of the ongoing repair work.
On the other hand, the water tankers pressed into service by Jal Sansthan proved grossly inadequate for the residents of New Hyderabad, Daliganj, Nishatganj and Babuganj, who could be seen standing in queues with pitchers/bucket in front of public hand-pumps in their respective localities. “The water from these tankers, in any case, is not fit for drinking,” pointed out Adil Hashmi a resident of Lane 4 in Nishatganj.