Just the time when water is being restored from the Ponda by repairing the ruptured pipeline the new case of bursting water pipeline at St. Cruz have come up. The areas around St. Cruz and Bambolim are already facing the water shortage issue and condition of patients admitted at GMC is already bad due to no water, will this new accident do by the PWD department will make things worse?
According to the reports, the villagers of St. Cruz, St. Andre and the people at Goa Medical College at Bambolim, will have to bear up with the unavailability of water for another couple of days.
After two major water pipelines at Curti-Ponda gave way, now it’s the 400 mm pipeline at St Cruz that has broken down. The breakdown occurred on the day water supply was restored to Tiswadi after seven days.
The contractors MVR Infra projects was supposed to shift the water pipelines before taking up work on road widening and construction of the overpass at the St Cruz signal junction, said officials.
The ductile iron water pipeline runs approximately 1m under NH66 and supplies treated water to St Cruz and St Andre constituencies.
Residents of Curca, Siridao, Cacra, Bambolim, Goa Medical College and Alto St Cruz will have to depend on water tankers again till the pipeline is restored. GMC is already reeling under a severe water crisis since August 15.
Principal Chief Engineer, Uttam Parsekar, while assuring that the pipeline will be repaired as soon as possible, said: “The pipeline is below the road surface so the reinforced concrete layer has to be broken, excavated and the pipe repaired.”
Sources have said that the pipeline has ruptured at least 12 times before, but the PWD was lethargic in shifting the pipeline and holding the contractor accountable. M Venkata Rao Infrastructure Project Pvt Ltd. is the contractor involved in the highway expansion.
PWD, for now, has closed the valve that allows water to run through the pipeline.
Local citizens were infuriated that the water supply had once again come to a halt. St Cruz MLA, Antonio Fernandes while expressing frustration at the situation said, “Precautions should be taken before any work is taken up. They should have calculated the load of rubble and mud that has been dumped on the pipeline.” He further added that the filling was done overnight and was too heavy a load for the pipeline to bear the pressure, due to which it collapsed.
Parsekar informed that 50 % of the waterline has already been shifted by MVR contactors and the remaining 50% would be shifted in another 15-20 days.
Before the PWD and National Highway Authority of India began work to widen the national highway into a four-lane road, the pipeline used to run parallel to the road. However MVR Infraprojects instead of shifting the pipeline to the side, they just had it covered.
MVR is also the contractor in charge of widening the road at Curti-Ponda where the embankment gave way due to a landslide taking two major water pipelines with it. PWD Minister Deepak Pauskar told sources at TOI that the contractor was responsible for shifting the pipelines before commencing the road widening works.
Meanwhile, a supervisor from MVR Projects at St.Cruz, who was on the receiving end of an earful from Fernandes, blamed PWD and NHAI for putting pressure on them to hasten the road widening works.
He said that the Chief engineer in charge of the national highway puts undue pressure to complete the work fast.
Following the water crisis that hit Tiswadi due to a breakdown of major pipelines, Panjim BJP MLA Atanasio Monserrate has stressed upon the need for rainwater harvesting to avoid a similar situation in the future. Monserrate, who had engaged private tankers to supply water to affected areas, said there is scope for water harvesting in Panaji and Taleigao.
He along with the city Mayor Uday Madkaikar thanked the people for understanding the gravity of the situation and for cooperating with the government.