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Road project snaps water supply

A burst pipeline floods the road project site in Harmu, Ranchi, on Tuesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra

Ranchi: A road and drain project in Harmu Housing Colony has damaged water supply pipes in the area, leaving taps dry in 60-odd households for the past seven days or so.

The bad news is respite is unlikely till the 2.5km project, which began a month ago from Imli Chowk, is completed around September-end.

Some frustrated residents are spending money from their own pockets to plug the leaks.

"I have engaged labourers because the authorities have turned a blind eye to the problem. The pipeline got damaged a week ago when an earthmover dug a trench for drains on both sides of the 20ft road under construction. The contractor and councillor didn't pay attention to our grievances," said Geetanjali Singh, a homemaker.

Student Amit Kumar echoed her, saying the road work had made it difficult to fetch or buy water from elsewhere.

"The uneven road is a deterrent. Buying water and then hauling the same home is a tedious task. Getting the pipeline repaired is time-saving, perhaps even cheaper if you consider the number of days we have been suffering," said Amit, accusing the contractor of shoddy construction.

Sanjay Sharma, another resident, said he saw no hope or solution till the road project was completed. "People living along the 2.5km road construction site are worried. Sometimes their sewage tank gets damaged, sometimes water pipeline. Despite complaints, road construction officials are not bothering to look into the matter," he said.

Councillor of Ward 26 Arun Kumar Jha conceded the problem.

"Around 60 families are in genuine trouble. I have asked them to use mini-high yield drill tubewellstill water connection is restored. Apart from this, water is being also supplied through tankers. However, a long-term solution is difficult before the Rs 7-crore road and drain project is over," Jha said.

Executive engineer of road construction Rajesh Murmu said he had asked the contractor to take care of underground pipelines in the future. "I have also asked the contractor to expedite the project. The water crisis is temporary," he added.

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