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Updated: June 25, 2014 22:53 IST

Desalination pilot project on the anvil

G. V. Prasada Sarma
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Detailed report has been prepared and clearance for land allotment is awaited.

The city’s growing water needs, both for domestic and industrial supply, are making the authorities look at alternative sources as well as improvements to the existing supply systems.

At a recent meeting with officials in the city, Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu expressed the view that desalination plants were the ultimate solution for the increasing water needs and asked officials to plan for them. Tamil Nadu is seen as the best example where two desalination plants are set up at Minjur and Nemmili. While 1 KL of water at the first plant costs Rs.50, at the Nemmili plant it costs a mere Rs.21 owing to the latest technology used, it is learnt.

It is estimated that 100 mld desalination plant costs Rs.800 crore and the city needs two such plants.

GVMC has readied a detailed project report by APITCO to set up a 10 mld pilot project at Poodimadaka. AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation has earmarked 150 acres of land for desalination plants.

The pilot plant requires 10 acres of land and the cost of the plant is estimated at Rs.80 crore. Proposals for expression of interest are readied.

The APIIC board has to approve the proposal to allot land and give a formal letter to GVMC to enable it call for Expression of Interest.

“Since the pilot project is of a modest nature, we intend to take on board major industrial stakeholders like Steel Plant and NTPC in the public-private partnership,” a senior official has told The Hindu.

The Andhra Pradesh government has also indicated that plans for a 100 mld plant should be actively pursued.

Competitive price

With industry hard-pressed for water, the desalinated water from the pilot project at a competitive price using latest technology will be a win-win situation. By 2020, the requirement is expected to go up by 96.8 mgd with industry accounting for 20 mgd and by 2040 to 146 mgd with industry share at 30 mgd.

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