Hundreds of families in and around Vyttila in Kochi, Kerala, have been affected as the water supply from Kerala Water Authority has been disrupted following a leak in the underground pipeline of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL). After residents raised complaints of water smelling like diesel, on June 26, Saturday, a leak was found in the pipeline near Pipeline Road in Ponnurunni, which had caused contamination of the water. Efforts are underway to fix the issue, officials said.
From June 23, residents in parts of Ponnurunni division under Kochi Corporation had been observing that water supplied by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) smelled like diesel. Though many ignored this and continued to use the water, the issues turned worse on Friday as people in the neighbouring wards also started to witness the same.
â€śOn Wednesday we thought it could be the smell of solvent used to join pipes. Many continued to use the water thinking this, but on Friday it became worse as we clearly started getting the smell of fuel. In houses near Ponnurunni, an oil layer was also visible inside their water tanks. It became unbearable to use the water,â€ť said Foji John, a resident of Vyttila.
Kerala Water Authority has announced that water supply will be completely disrupted on June 27 and 28 in Ponnurunni, Vyttila, Thykoodam, Champakara, Petra, Kachappilly road, Ambelipadam road, Major road, Toch -H road, Janatha road, Chilavanoor road and Kadavanthra. KWA has said that water supply will only be restored on June 29.
Talking to TNM, officials in BPCL said that the leak was a minor one and that it happened at one of the pipes in the pipeline corridor of BPCL. â€śWe will be investigating pipes in the grid to ensure that there is no further problem,â€ť said the official.
Meanwhile, residents state they have been finding it difficult due to the sudden water shortage. Many are now depending on water cans brought from outside for drinking purposes. â€śThough the corporation officials have said they will supply water in tanker lorries, till now, no one has reached out,â€ť adds Foji John.