Water goes down the drain as pipelines burst near Belagavi

4 homes damaged; villagers accuse KUWSDB of ignoring plaints

Water goes down the drain as pipelines burst near Belagavi

 Cement pipelines that supply drinking water to Belagavi from the Hidkal Dam broke apart at Muchandi village near the city in the early hours of Wednesday, razing four houses and damaging as many.

Local residents accused the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) of ignoring their repeated complaints that the pipelines were leaking. They said they had been requesting the officials for the past several days to repair the joints of pipelines that pass through their village. At a time when drinking water has become scarce, lakhs of litres of water went down the drain as pipelines burst.

The pipelines were laid as part of the Hidkal Dam drinking water scheme 16 years ago. It is suspected that the pipelines had completed their life span. During the project work, the pipelines were coated with galvanised iron to prevent leakage and burst. The pipelines supply water from the dam to a purifying plant located at Laxmi Tedki in Belagavi. Water is then supplied from the plant to the city.

When water started gushing out of the pipelines, people mistook it for heavy unseasonal rainfall as the roofs of their homes were leaking. But the walls too gave in before long and water started leaking from the ground. The residents panicked and ran out of their homes.

Household articles and livestock were washed away. Crops in nearby farm fields were damaged. But luckily, there were no human casualties. The homes of Devappa Jadhav, Vinod Koljigouda, Narayan Jakane and Baswant Bangare were fully damaged. Slush entered four other homes but they withstood the brunt. The total loss, including homes and household articles, has been estimated at Rs 56.12 lakh. The leak continued for at least a couple of hours until the pumping of water from the dam stopped and the pipelines went dry.

Belagavi Assistant Commissioner Rajashree Jainapur and Belagavi Tahsildar Preetam Naslapure visited the spot and inspected the damage and later submitted a report to the deputy commissioner.

KUWSDB Executive Engineer Prasanna Murthy said, “We suspect that the pipeline joints broke apart, leading to the burst. An inquiry is going on to determine the exact cause. We’ll restore the pipelines soon so that there is no disruption in water supply to Belagavi city.”

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