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Pipe leak reduces water flow, repair on

A water pipe 15ft under a road at Garden Reach spouted water like a fountain after a telecom company laying underground cables damaged it accidentally on Thursday afternoon.

The force of the water jet was such that Calcutta Municipal Corporation workers were almost thrown away. They had to stop digging after 3ft and wait till evening for the pipe to empty before starting repair work. The other option would have been to block the pipeline but that would have stopped water supply to houses.

The intake pipe on Paharpur Road that carries water from the Hooghly to Garden Reach Waterworks, where it is treated before being distributed to households, is 6ft in diameter and can carry 50,000 gallons of water per minute.

“Though the pipe is 15ft underground, the force was too much to manage,” said Bibhas Maity, the chief engineer of CMC’s water supply department.

Water supply to Behala, Garden Reach and large parts of south Calcutta were partially affected in the evening because of reduced flow and pressure of water in these areas. Because of the leak, the quantity of water reaching the plant was less.

Repair was stopped around midnight as municipal engineers blocked the intake jetty to clear the pipe. “It will take about four to five days to fully repair the leaks. There will not be any major problem in water supply but the flow of water will be less than usual,” an engineer said.

An official of Reliance Jio, whose workers were laying underground 4G cables when the pipeline was damaged at two points, said the company was extending all cooperation to CMC. “We are helping in whatever way we can,” said the official.