4-member panel starts probe into Govandi pipeline burst | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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4-member panel starts probe into Govandi pipeline burst

The civic body has appointed a four-member committee to look into why the pipeline underneath Sanjeevani building in Govandi was active when an alternative water supply route had been laid back in 2008, as well as why the pipeline burst. Poorvi Kulkarni reports.

mumbai Updated: Apr 10, 2013 01:31 IST
Poorvi Kulkarni

The civic body has appointed a four-member committee to look into why the pipeline underneath Sanjeevani building in Govandi was active when an alternative water supply route had been laid back in 2008, as well as why the pipeline burst.

On Monday, one resident had drowned and 14 others were injured after the 40-year-old pipeline burst and flooded the ground floor of the building.

The committee, which is expected to submit its report in three to four days, comprises a retired civic official and three on-duty officials.

As per civic norms, an active water pipeline cannot run beneath a building, and if a building has to be constructed above a pipeline, water supply through it must be stopped. Monday's incident showed that these norms were violated by both the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the developer, Mahesh Garodia.

"The incident indicates lack of proper planning," said a senior official. "The members began the technical investigation on Tuesday," said Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner.

Civic officials said the panel needs to figure out whether the valve installed in the pipeline to block water supply had stopped working or whether it was accidentally opened.

Jalota said compensation would be given to the deceased's family and to those injured.

The BMC has approached the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), the regulatory body under which the building was constructed, to conduct a structural audit of the eight-storey building to determine whether the foundation has been affected.

On Tuesday, at the civic general body meeting, the BMC was flogged for the incident by the mayor and corporators, who demanded action against concerned officials and the builder. "We will make sure that action is taken against officials involved. Also, a technology will be formulated to collect data on water pipelines under buildings," said mayor Sunil Prabhu.

The police are investigating the matter to fix responsibility for the incident. "We have sent letters to the BMC, Mhada and SRA for details on the building plan," said Bhalchandra Rane, senior police inspector, Govandi police station. The police are yet to make arrests.