Locality receives just 4 million litres per day against requirement of 28 million

There is some good news for Pallavaram residents reeling under a shortage of drinking water.

The State government has given its nod for a Rs. 99.95-crore water supply improvement scheme in the municipality. It will be implemented by Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board with the aid of World Bank under the Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project-III (TNUDP).

Ten per cent of the project cost — Rs. 9.95 crore — would have to be borne by the municipality and its residents who are the beneficiaries of the project. The council gave its nod to the local body to collect Rs. 7,500 as initial deposit from the residents and Rs. 15,000 from commercial establishments.

It also proposed to collect Rs. 285 and Rs. 855 as monthly usage charges from homes and commercial establishments, respectively, after the completion of the project. A monthly fee of Rs. 51 is collected from residents of the municipality, at present.

Based on government norms that municipalities provide drinking water to residents at the rate of 135 litres per day per head, Pallavaram requires 28 million litres a day. At present, residents receive just 4 million litres. The project is expected to meet the needs of the municipality on a daily basis.

Initial reports prepared by Metrowater pegged the cost of the project at Rs. 77.2 crore. Revised estimates, based on prevailing market rates of construction material, increased project cost to a whopping Rs. 158.25 crore.

At a meeting held in the second week of September, it was submitted that the municipality would take up road restoration work at its own cost. The civic body, however, asked to be exempted the cost of laying main feeder lines from Chembarambakkam to Pallavaram to improve drinking water supply.

After it was agreed by the government agencies concerned, the project cost was once again revised to the present Rs. 99.95 crore. Of this, Rs. 59.97 will come from World Bank under TNUDP, and Rs. 29.99 will be subsidy from the Bank. The remaining amount, Rs. 9.99 crore, will have to be raised by the municipality and residents.

It was in 1971 that a comprehensive water supply scheme for Pallavaram and Alandur was devised by Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board at a cost of Rs. 1.73 crore. Back then, the subterraneal dry-bed of Palar river was the principal source of drinking water for several urban local pockets in the city’s southern suburbs and rural and urban local bodies in Kancheepuram district.

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