Nemmeli desalination project to be over by December next year

The 100-million-litres-a day-capacity desalination plant in Kattupalli near Minjur is now supplying about 90 mld to the city. Chennai Metrowater has asked the Chennai Water Desalination Limited, which is operating the plant, to step up supply to the capacity.

The CWDL had teething problems, including silting up of intake tower in the plant that draws raw seawater, which contributed to a slightly low performance, Metrowater officials said.

Addressing presspersons on Wednesday, who were earlier taken on a tour of the plant, Metrowater's Managing Director Shiv Das Meena said the water agency has received 3,814 million litres of water from the desalination plant since its inauguration on July 31.

Of this, nearly 2,700 ML was supplied to consumers and the rest to flush the 38-km-long pipeline that conveyed the treated water to the city.

While the Manali industrial belt and Kathivakkam municipality are supplied water from the Manali pumping station, residential localities of Madhavaram, Tiruvottiyur and some parts of north Chennai get their supply from the Madhavaram pumping station. About 50 mld is pumped to Red Hills treatment plant from where supply is given to northern and central parts of the city, he said.

Metrowater has paid Rs.12.5 crore for water purchased for a month till August 31 to the CWDL. The State government has sanctioned Rs.100 crore as grant for the purpose this fiscal.

The supply from the Minjur desalination plant has meant a slight increase in supply to residents and also reduction in the drawal from Red Hills lake. The city gets about 670 mld of water now.

On the progress of 100-mld-desalination project in Nemmeli, Mr. Meena said that about 20 per cent of the work has been completed. The project would be over by December next year. The production cost of desalinated water would work out to Rs.22-Rs.23 per kilolitre, excluding the capital cost.

To queries pertaining to sewage overflow in the city, he said Metrowater was attending to the complaints from some pockets in Ayanavaram and Pulianthope. The pipelines are replaced and flushed wherever necessary.

Officials said work has commenced to replace nearly 42,000 domestic water connections mainly in north Chennai as part of leak detection programme. The water agency will launch a campaign along with Chennai Corporation on September 28 to create awareness of sewage disposal and not to dump solid waste in sewer network, the officials added.