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Pipe leak floods Behala artery

An underground water pipe near Behala Chowrasta sprang a leak while being shifted for laying the Joka-BBD Bag Metro tracks on Sunday morning, leading to waterlogging on a stretch of Diamond Harbour Road.

Among the worst sufferers were candidates for the college service commission exam, who had to wade through ankle-deep water to reach the test venue at Vivekananda College for Women in Behala.

Sources in the Calcutta Municipal Corporation said a valve in the 24-inch diameter pipe gave away suddenly, causing the water in the conduit to gush out around 7am.

“The work to shift the pipe started last night,” said an official in the civic body.

CMC engineers rushed to the site after getting news of the flooding and repaired the valve.

The waterlogging inconvenienced examinees who had started to arrive from around 8.30am. The exam was slated to start at 10am.

“Some of us who did not want to wade through the water were fleeced by rickshaw-pullers. They were demanding Rs 25 for the 100m ride from the Chowrasta crossing to the college gate,” said an examinee.

A senior engineer in the civic water supply department said it was not unusual for a pipe being shifted to spring a leak.