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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pipeline burst leads to flooding in Lalbaug

Mumbai: Lalbaug residents woke up to a "flood" in the early hours of Sunday when a 30-year-old underground water pipeline burst at Ranga Bazaari Chawl, Kalachowkie, on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road.
    The 3.3-m water main burst allegedly because of work being carried out to lay the foundation for a new elevated road in Lalbaug. While the BMC blamed the MMRDA for the rupture, the latter said it was investigating the mishap and had not yet ruled out the age of the pipe being the source of the problem.
    The pipeline supplies water to places such as King's Circle, Dadar, Lalbaug, Parel and up to Byculla. Lalbaug residents went without water on Sunday due to the mishap. A BMC official said normal supply would resume on Monday.
    Civic officials said the MMRDA started work on the foundation for the Lalbaug elevated road on March 25 and dumped huge stones near the junction between Dattaram Lad Road and Ambedkar Road.
    "Because of the stones, pressure was exerted on the pipeline and the main must have cracked. Finally, on Sunday morning, it burst open,'' said M K Pathak, hydraulic engineer (in-charge).

    "As this water goes to several places, we could not stop the supply. We allowed the water to flow at low pressure, because of which the area gradually got flooded. If we had closed the valves, water supply would have stopped in all these places, not
just Lalbaug,'' Pathak said.
    Sunil Babulkar, a resident of Lalbaug's Sane Guruji Marg, said, "The incident occurred early in the morning. When I woke up at 6 am, I saw there was a flood-like situation. A lot of water had spilled out and
we had to rush outside to collect the same. It was followed by a complete water cut." The water receded by afternoon.
    According to an MMRDA official, this was a "perplexing'' case. "We had worked on this same stretch two weeks ago. It was a big surprise that the pipeline burst so suddenly after all these days. Though we are trying to investigate the exact reason behind the burst, we feel it could be because the pipeline was really old or the water pressure was high. Whatever the reason, we will get the situation under control by Monday,'' said the official.
    However, BMC officials maintained that the pipeline was not too old. "It is not a very old pipeline to give way so suddenly,'' said deputy municipal commissioner, Pramod Charankar.

WATER SHOCK: The flooding was followed by a water cut in Lalbaug on Sunday

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