Water leakage hits four-lane work on highway at Kulai

13 January 2007

Water leakage from a valve at Kulai pump house, owned by Mangalore City Corporation (MCC), for the past many days has come in the way of implementing four-lane work on National Highway 17 by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), according to a senior official of the NHAI project office here.

When this Correspondent visited the spot on Friday, the MCC workers at the pump house said that the valve had been leaking for the past five months. The valve had been fixed to the pipeline which supplies water from Panambur side to the tank of the pump house. Also, the tank overflows whenever power supply stops to the pump house. As a result water was flowing on the highway, they said. They had informed about the problem to their higher-ups, they said.

The NHAI official said that flow of water from pump house had affected the slab culvert work of the NHAI. The NHAI had to pump out the water from the highway continuously. If left unattended, the water flowed on the highway, coming in the way of taking up four-lane work, the official said.

The MCC had not taken steps to plug the leakage, the official alleged.

`Old valve'

Suresh Babu, Executive Engineer of the MCC, told The Hindu that the 900 mm valve was 35 years old. The MCC might have to replace it instead of repairing it, he said.

The Kulai pump house would be closed after the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded water supply scheme under Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Coastal Environment Management Project was operational. Due to the "economy factor" the engineers were contemplating on steps to handle this problem, he said.

A retired Superintendent Engineer of Public Works Department, now working with the NHAI project office here said that the MCC could afford the repair.

Problem of pipeline

Meanwhile, Mr. Babu has written to the NHAI that the MCC had commissioned a new water supply pipeline to a length of two km, from the National Institute of Technology - Karnataka (NIT-K) to Surathkal bus stand on the highway on January 5.

The NHAI official said that the NHAI was communicated about it on January 11. This pipeline is on the eastern side of the highway. Mr. Babu confirmed to The Hindu that the pipeline had been commissioned.

The NHAI official said that under the port connectivity project, the NHAI had planned to complete work on the 6 km-stretch from NIT-K to Baikampady in the first phase.

But the plan was not getting materialised, as the MCC had not commissioned the water supply pipeline to the length of four km between Surathkal and Baikampady though it had laid a new pipeline from NIT-K to Baikampady, the official said.

Hence, the NHAI would be forced to complete work on only half of the total width of the four-lane, the official said.

Looping method

If the MCC commissions the 4 km-stretch, the four-laning work on both the sides on the highway could be completed by May-end, the official said.

He said that the MCC could adopt the looping method to commission the pipeline.

Mr. Babu said that there was no provision for the looping method in the MCC's tender.

(courtesy thehindu.com)


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