Chennai Metrowater has proposed the construction of three more sewage treatment plants in and around the city in anticipation of additional sewage flow from newly merged areas of the Chennai Corporation. At present, there are plants at five locations in the city with the capacity to treat 486 million litres a day (mld). The new plants will be in Villivakkam, Porur and Sholinganallur.

Currently, the city generates nearly 580 mld of sewage. Of this, nearly 80 mld of untreated sewage is released into waterways owing to a lack of capacity. The volume of sewage generated is expected to further go up by 400 mld once the newly added localities are also connected with a sewerage network.

Residents of merged areas such as Madhavaram, Manali and Ambattur depend on private tankers for sewage disposal. Dumping of sewage in water bodies or channels is a common feature in suburban areas as infrastructure there is yet to be improved. Metrowater is chalking out projects to provide sewerage pipelines in these areas.

This apart, the existing Koyambedu plant will soon get a third facility with a capacity to treat 120 mld of sewage. A work order is expected to be issued in April for this, and the plant is expected to address the problems of frequent sewage blocks in and around Vadapalani, Virugambakkam and Valasaravakkam.

To set up the new plant in Villivakkam, the water agency is preparing a detailed project report. This plant will have a treatment capacity of 120 mld. At present, the locality has a plant treating a small volume of sewage. Tenders will be floated soon for the new plant that will take in the additional sewage flow expected from northern parts and expanded areas. Similar facilities will be built in Porur and Sholinganallur with a capacity of 150 mld and 120 mld respectively, and plans are afoot for this, sources said.

The water agency has estimated that construction of treatment plants for extended areas will cost nearly Rs. 500 crore. It has sought funds from the State government to implement the projects during the 12th Five year Plan.

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