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Water pipeline burst: Who is accountable?

After the water pipeline burst of the South-Central Water Supply Project under the Guwahati Jal Board at Joypur in the Kharghuli area of Guwahati


Sentinel Digital Desk

IITG experts to conduct safety audit of pipelines; AHRC takes suo-moto cognizance


GUWAHATI: After the water pipeline burst of the South-Central Water Supply Project under the Guwahati Jal Board at Joypur in the Kharghuli area of Guwahati on Thursday in which a woman lost her life and several others were injured, public representatives and the authorities concerned have sprung into damage-control mode. While many inquiries have been ordered, will those responsible for the catastrophic incident be brought to book?

The Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has taken suo-motu cognizance of the water pipeline burst and asked the District Magistrate, Kamrup (M) to hold an inquiry in details and submit the report of the incident to the Commission at the earliest. The AHRC has also asked the District Magistrate, Kamrup (M) to take help of Disaster, PWD, APDCL and GMC departments to take stock of the impact and monetary loss etc. to each and every individual of the area.

On the other hand, State Housing & Urban Affairs Minister Ashok Singhal announced that a three-member committee had been constituted to inquire into the water pipeline burst incident. The committee is headed by Pabitra Ram Khaund, Secretary to the Government of Assam, Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (DoHUA). The other members of the committee are Ramendra Sundar Choudhury, retired Secretary to the Government of Assam, PHE Department-cum-Additional Mission Director (DEM), AMRUT; and Sanjai Kr. Mahanta, retired Chief Engineer, Irrigation Department-cum-Additional Mission Director (Admin), AMRUT. The committee will submit its report within three days.

The Kamrup (mtero) Deputy Commissioner has meanwhile, directed the chief executive officer of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) to submit a report on the incident within 15 days. The Kamrup (metro) DC has also written to the Director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IITG), requesting the institute experts to conduct a safety audit of all water pipelines of the water supply project. The safety audit will include a study of the water pipelines, valves and reservoirs. The DC further requested the experts to suggest satefy measures to prevent such catastrophic incidents in future.

The project director of the JICA-aided Guwahati Water Supply Project, Panchami Choudhury has asked the engineer in-charge of the project to conduct an inquiry and submit a detailed report. The project implementing agency, PMS Consultant Co.Ltd. has also been directed to take up safety measures so that such accidents do not occur again.

Minister Ashok Singhal had visited the incident site on Thursday night. Talking to media persons, he said, “When hydro testing is done after welding process of the pipes, the pressure is kept very low. We have never heard about such an incident of water bursting out after hydro testing has been successfully done. There is a safety audit for all pipes laid. We will probe the entire situation.”

He further said that the Kamrup (metro) DC had been directed to visit the incident spot and take stock of the situation. “A relief camp has been set up here. The DC has also been instructed to visit the spot and take stock of the situation here. I will also visit the area after the safety audit begins. I will talk to the local people after the detailed report is out,” he said.

Also Read: Guwahati: Water Pipe Burst Kills 1, Leaves 30 houses Damaged in Kharghuli

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