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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

City gets 50 million litres less

35% Cut To Continue Due To Bhiwandi Pipe Burst

Mumbai: The burst pipeline at Bhiwandi that carries water from the Tansa into Mumbai sapped the already water-starved city of 8,600 kilolitres or 8.6 million litres of water. So with the BMC imposing a 35% cut in supply from Monday evening, Mumbaikars had to make do with 50 million litres less water on Tuesday. 

    The BMC has been supplying 2,900 million litres per day (mld) ever since it imposed a 15% water cut last year. The amount dropped to 2,850 mld on Tuesday, owing to the uniform cut imposed in the city by the BMC. 
    Even as the civic body has been racing against time to plug the biggest pipeline burst of the year, the job is not likely to be done before Wednesday and normal supply is likely to resume only later by Thursday evening. 
    "We started repair work only in the wee hours of Tuesday. It took long to close the valve completely and arrest the gushing water. After we did that, we drained out the water from a three-kilometre stretch between Gundavli and Tarai,'' said a civic official, adding that the city would continue to get less water even on Wednesday. 
    Hydraulic officials working on the repair of the pipeline said that they encountered several unexpected problems once they actually started the work. "We re
alised that the pipeline shell or the bottom of the pipeline had become extremely fragile. We need to replace the plate and then weld the ruptured portion,'' said S M Deshpande, hydraulic engineer, BMC. "Moreover, there is hardly any space for us to use machines because there are other pipelines around. So we are forced to do the work manually, which is taking longer,'' he added. 
    Frequent pipe bursts in recent times have added to the city's woes, which is already reeling under a 15% water cut due to a poor monsoon last year. Most pipelines in the city that have been laid in the British era are century-old. With large scale development in the city and an increase in demand, there is an added load on the already worn out pipelines. 
    Civic officials say the sheer size, intricacy and the age of the network of old pipelines seem to be at the root of the problem. To check 
the pipes from bursting every now and then, the BMC has started replacing water mains and is also looking for an alternative in the form of tunnels. 
Dry taps dampen Gudi Padwa festival 

Mumbai: It was probably one of the driest Gudi Padwas in recent memory. In numerous households across the city, taps ran dry even earlier than usual as the pipeline burst at Bhiwandi curtailed already depleted water supply. The ruptured Tansa pipeline supplies water to all the main reservoirs in the western suburbs and some in the island city. Although a uniform cut was imposed in the entire city, the western suburbs were worst affected, areas between Malad and Dahisar bearing the brunt. For the six-member Pange 

family in Borivli (E), getting through the day was a serious problem. "The water pressure was so low, that we couldn't even manage to fill a bucket. Everything got delayed, especially hoisting the Gudi. We didn't know there was a problem or we 
would have made some arrangements,'' said Milind Pange. "My son's birthday was in the evening and we had 15 guests. We were forced to order mineral water,'' he added. 
    Bharat Koli and several others from Malwani village in Malad were taken by surprise as they didn't have an idea about the burst or the ensuing water cut. "Usually, we get water for two hours in the evening. But on Monday evening, there was very water low pressure and not a drop in our taps on Tuesday,'' said Koli. 
    In Andheri's posh Lokhandwala area and Four and Seven Bungalows stretch, the existing water problems reached a head on Tuesday. "We could have our morning tea only at noon after the tankers came,'' said Sujata J, resident of Neptune building, Lokhandwala. "There was no water on Tuesday morning,'' she added. 

Other Watery Disasters 
Jan 4, 2010: A pipeline burst at Nana Chowk due to drilling by MSRDC contractors 
Oct 13, 2009: An 80-year-old Tansa main burst on Kalachowkie 
May 7, 2009: A 48-inch water main ruptured near Voltas house, Chinchpokli 
May 4, 2009: A 3.3m water pipeline burst at Ranga Bazari Chawl, Kalachowkie 
Sep 25, 2008: A 48-inch diameter water pipeline burst at Matunga

HEART OF THE PROBLEM: BMC workers repairing the Tansa mains that burst at Bhiwandi


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