PONDA: Exactly a month after a retaining wall collapsed resulting in damages to two major water pipelines at Curti Khandepar, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has finally begun the work of shifting the 900 mm diameter and 750 mm diameter pipelines from their present location to the other side of the Ponda-Belagavi highway.
It may be noted that the damage to the pipelines had disturbed water supply to the entire Tiswadi taluka and parts of Ponda taluka for over a week. Thousands of families were forced to face a severe water crisis. The pipelines supplied water from the Opa water treatment plant to the areas of Tiswadi and Ponda.
The stretch of road between Par-Khandepar and Shapur-Ponda on the Ponda-Belagavi highway is being widened to make it a four-lane road and water pipelines laid along the highway need to be shifted.
Initially, four water pipelines, catering to the needs of Tiswadi, Priol, Ponda town and other parts of Ponda taluka, were laid along the highway. Following expansion of the highway, two pipelines were shifted to the hilly side of the road while shifting of the 750 mm and 900 mm pipelines was kept pending.
Despite the public works department (PWD) requesting the NHAI on various occasions and accordingly issuing directions to the contractor to shift the pipelines, the contractor had failed to act resulting in the disaster leading to water crisis.
In order to avoid any major catastrophe, the NHAI has now initiated work to shift both the water pipelines to the hilly side of the highway.
According to NHAI officials, both the pipelines are being laid together, with trenches being dug beside the road. The NHAI has to shift around 250 metres of pipelines from Devache Zaad to Koparwada junction where they will be connected to the existing pipelines. Road contractor MVR Infra Projects Pvt Ltd is undertaking the work of shifting the pipelines and officials are expecting to complete the work in two months.