At Andheri, planning agency breaks another water pipe | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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At Andheri, planning agency breaks another water pipe

Negligence by a contractor for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority ruptured a water pipeline in Andheri on Friday, affecting water supply for more than an hour.

mumbai Updated: Feb 20, 2010 02:06 IST

Negligence by a contractor for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority ruptured a water pipeline in Andheri on Friday, affecting water supply for more than an hour.

This is the seventh pipeline breach in five months involving negligence by an infrastructure contractor. This time, the contractor, J Kumar, who is constructing a bridge at Andheri as part of an MMRDA project, damaged a 6-inch water pipeline supplying to the Juhu Gully area.

“The pipeline broke on Friday afternoon and was repaired in three hours, but only after we stopped supply to the area for an hour,” a civic official said on condition of anonymity.

According to civic records, over the last five years, MMRDA has caused pipeline breaks 55 times during work on its projects. Besides the resultant massive waste of water, the agency has unpaid repair bills now totaling Rs 78 lakh.

“The city’s new infrastructure projects – the skywalk, Metro rail and monorail – are taking a toll on its water pipelines. We give MMRDA detailed maps of underground utilities, but it always neglects them,” said Vinay Deshpande, BMC chief engineer (Hydraulic Department).

A survey has found the city sees an average of 250 major pipe bursts every year. That’s one every 36 hours. Each time, around 10 lakh citizens face water cuts for varying amounts of time – from a few hours to two days.

“When they do this kind of damage, there’s not much we can do except finish the repair quickly and send them a claim,” Deshpande added.

After Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation caused a major pipeline burst at Nanachowk earlier this month, BMC chief Swadheen Kshatriya said he would discuss the issue with other agencies. No action has been seen since.