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Pipeline sabotage in Gurugram: Police action sought

Lalit Arora, the chief engineer of GMDA, who was a part of the delegation, said, “We suspect private tanker water suppliers to be behind these damages and we have sought police help.

gurgaon Updated: May 15, 2019 04:56 IST
Dhananjay Jha
Dhananjay Jha
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
GMDA,police action,Pioneer Park
The move comes after the irrecoverable loss of millions of litres of treated government water supplied to the city from the Chandu Budhera water treatment plant.(HT Photo)

A team of Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) officials met the commissioner of Gurugram police, Muhammad Akil, on Tuesday and gave a representation, demanding police action against those who damaged its master water pipeline, near Pioneer Park in Sector 61, thrice in the past two weeks.

Lalit Arora, the chief engineer of GMDA, who was a part of the delegation, said, “We suspect private tanker water suppliers to be behind these damages and we have sought police help. We have presented the facts to the commissioner of police, who gave us concrete assurance (of taking action). We hope there is no more damage to our water pipeline.”

The move comes after the irrecoverable loss of millions of litres of treated government water supplied to the city from the Chandu Budhera water treatment plant.

Selling illegally drawn groundwater through private tankers is a deep-seated problem in the city. The district administration failed to stop this practice despite residents lodging numerous complaints and demanding authorities to clamp down on such activities.

“We believe 10 to 15 million litres daily (MLD) canal water got wasted in all the past three damages. Water spilt on to the roads, nearby drains and sewer. It cost us ₹7 lakh to repair the pipeline. The damages also caused suffering to law-abiding residents living in government-approved private societies,” a GMDA official familiar with the matter said.

The GMDA letter mentioned that those who caused the damages could belong to neighbouring villages. Officials said that they have been in the business of supplying groundwater to residents living in the newly developed private societies, prior to the commissioning of authority’s piped water supply from May 1.

“Tanker mafia wants residents to remain dependent on them and with this intention, they cause leakages in the pipeline so that it does not reach residential societies,” the GMDA letter to the police stated.

The GMDA’s master 1,000mm water pipeline has been laid underground, at least 15-20 feet deep, and at places, sluice or gate valves are placed over the ground to regulate the water flow.

A GMDA official said that the tanker mafia used a JCB machine to dig up the 20-foot-deep water pipeline and make a large hole with an iron cutting machine on May 3.

“They made a hole in the pipeline in a way that water leaked directly into the adjoining sewer line — so that it (water) does not spread over the ground and become visible easily. It took us 24 hours to find the location and by that time, millions of litres of water got wasted. Repairing it took us another 24 hours and cost us ₹3.5 lakh,” a GMDA official said.

“In the two other instances, tanker mafia broke the sluice valves, which is basically a shutter to control the flow of water in the pipeline. Damaged sluice valve stopped water supply for several hours,” the official said.

Officials said that the miscreants or tanker mafia damaged the GMDA’s water pipeline on May 3, 5 and 11 at the same location — near Pioneer Park in Sector 61.

The location in Sector 61 comes under the jurisdiction of the Sector 65 police. A police officer at the Sector 65 police station confirmed having received the GMDA complaint. “I will not comment in this regard at this point of time. We will certainly look into the issues properly,” said the police officer, requesting anonymity.

First Published: May 15, 2019 04:56 IST