It has been two years since the Malabar Hill water tunnel project was commissioned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) but old pipelines in the island city are still to be discarded.
The massive road cave-in last weekend on Marine Drive was due to the century- old water pipeline that burst early morning on Saturday. The island city has several such old water lines which have been a major reason for pipeline bursts and water contamination in the city.
However, the BMC’s hydraulic department has so far managed to discard only 3 such British- era water pipelines. Others, t hey said will be replaced with new ones, which is undertaken at a snail’s pace.
Civic officials said 6 pipelines were to be discarded, all of which are under the Marine Drive road. Out of the three remaining pipelines to be discarded, one of them burst on Saturday.
“The process to discard the pipelines is under way. We did not get permission from the traffic department to lay new lines in June. The work will be carried out after the monsoon,” said A S Tawadia, deputy chief engineer, hydraulic department.
To discard a line, the civic body has to build alternate vertical shafts that would connect the newly-built Malabar Hill water tunnel.
The f i rst phase of t he Malabar Hill tunnel - Kilachand Garden to S K Patil Garden - was commissioned in November 2011, while the second phase - S K Patil Garden to Cross Maidan - was completed this year.
The delay in connecting new water pipelines to the tunnel is likely to delay road repairing work as well.
The roads department will be carrying out the resurfacing work only after new pipelines are laid and the old ones are discarded. “We have planned to resurface the entire stretch next year and tender will be floated in October.
But it is possible only after the pipeline work is completed; a plan for the same is under process,” said SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.
After the cave in, the civic body used paver blocks to fill the crater and used asphalt on some portion.