If you were inconvenienced by the 30% water cut imposed after two main pipelines burst on Thursday, here’s some more bad news. The two Tansa pipelines, which supply water from Tansa lake to the city, are crumbling because they are more than 125 years old.
Moreover, civic officials warn about more such major pipe bursts though a project to replace such old, corroding pipelines is on — the deadline for the same is 2013.
In 2009, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had taken up a Rs1,152-crore project, to replace old main pipelines that carrying water from the six lakes to the city’s reservoirs.
“The only solution to these frequent bursts is the replacement of these ageing Tansa pipelines. Hence, we have taken it up on a priority basis and are confident that we will be able to finish it by 2013,” said additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota.
Currently, two pipelines of 1,800mm diameter supply 455 million litres of water every day to Mumbai. Under the project, a new pipeline of 2,700mm diameter will be laid parallel to the existing lines.
“The two pipelines that burst on Friday were laid around 1925, and have outlived their age. The only solution to this problem of frequent pipe leaks is to replace them,” said a senior civic official, on condition of anonymity, because he is not authorised to talk to the media.
“On most occasions, these major leaks are caused because the pipelines have corroded. Hence, even the slightest deviation in the pressure of the flowing water causes a burst.”
But, since October 2009, the BMC has managed to lay new pipelines only on 9 km of the 41-km stretch.
Officials said that the reason behind the delay was also because the locals protest against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s project and demand rehabilitation as well as employment.
“The progress on the project is unsatisfactory and a major reason is the locals’ agitation, which has brought work to a halt. But, we are confident that we will be able to resolve the agitation,” said another civic official, on condition of anonymity.