To meet the growing drinking water needs of the southern suburbs, Chennai Metrowater is evaluating the feasibility of laying a third pipeline from the Chembarampakkam water treatment plant.

The existing pipeline on Poonamallee Bypass Road has the capacity to convey only half of the 530 million litres that can be treated at the plant.

Following the recent announcement by the State government, the water agency is planning to float tenders in a month for the second pipeline, which will run parallel to the existing one for over 6.5 km.

Once the nearly 2,000 mm diameter pipeline is laid, the treatment plant can be put to full use. This will also help in removing imbalances in drinking water supply to various areas in the city and provide water to areas that have been merged with the Corporation such as Porur and Ambattur, where the distribution network will soon be made functional.

The Rs.45-crore project will be completed in eight months.

In a bid to extend water supply to areas in southern parts not connected to the pipeline network, the water agency is planning a feasibility study on laying a pipeline, the third such facility, to supply areas in a radius of about 20 km.

According to sources, only Alandur, which is now part of the Corporation, has a water distribution station. There is a possibility of supplying up to 80 million litres a day to local bodies in southern fringes such as Anakaputhur, Pammal, Pallavaram and up to Tambaram through a direct pipeline. They will be treated as bulk consumers.

At present, the demand in the newly merged areas is nearly 80 mld. Metrowater is assessing the demand of other suburbs in the Chennai Metropolitan Area. The initiative will also help prevent surplus water from the Chembarampakkam reservoir from draining into the Adyar river during heavy rain.