Order to fix leaks in water pipelines

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  • Published 19.06.12

Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) authorities on Monday asked the technicians concerned to repair the water supply pipelines to the Mangal Talab area in Patna City after The Telegraph reported in its June 18, 2012 edition how worms gushed out of taps at some of the homes in the locality on Sunday.

“I read the report in The Telegraph. We have ordered the officials concerned to repair the water supply pipelines in the area by tomorrow (Tuesday),” said PMC chief engineer Ramsawarath Singh.

He added: “The pipeline in the area was laid a long time back. It is around 7-8-ft beneath the ground. Most of the times, it is difficult to find out where the exact leakage has occurred. But this time it seems that the leak has been caused during repair works.”

On Sunday morning, panic had spread in Mangal Talab when snake-like creatures — later identified by experts as harmless cousins of earthworms — had fallen out of taps in around 50 homes. There were no such unpleasant surprises on Monday but residents complained that the water supplied to their homes was odorous and contaminated with solid waste.

“People are so scared that no one is drinking tap water. But we don’t have any other option for household work,” said Muneshwar Ojha, a resident in the area.

The worms that scared the residents are of interest to experts of the Zoological Survey of India, who collected the reptilian creatures from Mangal Talab to study the species. “While these worms are not a health hazard, water coming out of taps in the area is contaminated and unfit for human consumption,” said Gopal Sharma, a scientist with the organisation.

Sharma, along with German scientist Dr Hasko Nesemann attached with the Central University of Bihar, also prepared an investigative report on the organism claiming: “On 17th June 2012, an already known large aquatic worm (18cm fully extended) species with the scientific name Glyphidrilus gangeticus Gates, 1958, has been recorded for the first time from tap water in Patna City area near Mangal Talab. ”

Mayor Afzal Imam said while he could not visit the affected areas on Monday because of other urgent assignments, he had requested PMC commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pal to immediately sort out the problem. Civic officials blamed the decades-old pipeline for the problem of unhygienic water supply in most localities in the city.