Two inquiries were ordered on Friday into the bursting of an underground water pipe of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-assisted Guwahati Water Supply Project in the Kharghuli area on Thursday afternoon that left one person dead, nine injured and at least 20 houses damaged.
The Assam Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of the “catastrophic incident” and asked the Kamrup (Metro) district magistrate to hold a detailed inquiry and submit its report by June 2.
The Kamrup (Metro) district magistrate has set up a four-member committee to probe the incident, including its causes and negligence, if any, on part of the Guwahati Jal Board. The committee has been asked to submit its report within 15 days, which sources said will be submitted to the AHRC.
The state department of housing and urban affairs has also set up a three-member probe committee which has been asked to submit its report within three days.
The director of the JICA-assisted project has requested the IIT Guwahati to conduct a safety audit of the pipeline, valves and reservoirs under the water supply project and suggest measures to prevent man-made disasters caused by factors such as landslides atop which the reservoirs are situated, leakages in the distribution and transmission networks, among others.
Such was the impact of the water gushing out of the pipe that it affected houses located within an aerial distance of about 150 metres. An official associated with the project said that the water gushed for about “three-four” minutes after a window plate fixed on the pipe gave away.