Panaji without water for 4th day after pipeline burst

The state capital and outlying areas were left without water for the fourth consecutive day, even as the state government blamed the National Highways Authority of India for reckless mud-dumping, which caused a retaining wall supporting a key potable water-pipeline to crash, interrupting water supply.

According to Public Works Department Minister Deepak Pauskar, restoration work was going on at war-footing, even as Panaji residents queued up outside their homes for water arranged by the state government through water tankers. Youth Congress workers also staged a gherao of top PWD officials, demanding an instant restoration of water supply late on Monday.

"The water pipeline was damaged due to excessive dumping of mud by the NHAI during their highway expansion work in the Goa-Belgavi sector. It will be restored by Tuesday," Pauskar said.

On Saturday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said that water supply to Panaji would be restored by Monday. The damaged pipeline supplies water from the Opa water filtration part to several areas of North Goa, including the state capital of Panaji.

"We have never seen such a situation in Panaji. There is no water available. The PWD is also being irresponsible. Their emergency call centre, which has been set up to deal with water supply related complaints, does not even work," Panaji mayor Uday Madkaikar told DH.

Panaji residents claimed that despite heavy rains, they could not even get water for a daily bath. "It has been three days, most of my family has not even had a bath due to lack of water. We are buying bottled water for our children," Animesh Naik, a resident of Panaji said.

The Congress party blamed the Pramod Sawant-led government directly for the crisis. "It is a matter of shame that a government cannot provide water to its people," state Congress president Girish Chodankar said.

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