Srinagar: Every morning these days people in Kashmir wake up to frozen water pipes that block the supply of potable water. What should people do to unfreeze the pipes at their homes, and prevent them from getting blocked again? Chief Engineer Jal Shakti department Iftikhar Ahmad Wani told Kashmir Reader that people should spill lukewarm water on the pipes, but if that does not work, then they should avoid it. Sprinkling too much warm water can lead to the bursting of the pipes, he cautioned.
Better is, he said, to take precautionary measures to not let the pipes become blocked. Insulation of pipes with foam or jute bags will be useful, he said. People can also keep the taps open a little and let the water constantly drop until morning. Putting earth on pipes can also be helpful.
The advisory from Iftikhar has come amid the frozen pipes giving a tough time to people amid freezing temperatures. Water shortage is a common complaint for at least three days now. This year, the Chillai Kalan temperatures in Kashmir have broken decades-old records. Srinagar on Thursday recorded a low of minus 8.4 degree Celsius, the coldest temperature recorded in January since 1991.
Kashmir Reader received complaints from all the districts of the valley of freezing of water pipes. It has happened in almost all areas of Srinagar. A resident of Zaina Kadal, Mustaq Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader that all the pipes that carry water, whether inside the home or outside, were blocked. He said he had to get a mechanic who worked for two days to unblock the pipes.
“Now I have covered them with jute bags,” he said.
In rural areas, people have had to adopt the traditional method of securing water from nearby water bodies. In many areas, Iftikhar said, the Jal Shakti department had supplied water through tankers.
Iftikhar admitted that at many places the main pipes carrying water to homes were blocked, too. But, he said, the department has taken measures which include burying them under earth, or increasing the water speed inside the pipes. “If it still happens, then we use blow lamp torch to unfreeze them,” he said.