The project to create the fifth reservoir in Tiruvallur district to meet Chennai’s drinking water needs will kick off in January.

The Water Resources Department is expected to issue orders to start work on creating the proposed reservoir by linking two water bodies in Kannankottai and Thervoy Kandigai in Gummidipoondi taluk next month.

The State government has set aside Rs.330 crore for the entire project. Tender for the main component of forming the reservoir at a cost of Rs. 136 crore is being finalised.

At present, four reservoirs in Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam store water for Chennai. The new reservoir, with a water spread area of nearly 1,100 acres, would have a capacity to hold about one thousand million cubic feet when filled twice.

This is equal to one month’s water supply to Chennai.

Besides water from a catchment area of nearly 12.77 square miles, the reservoir would also receive Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh as it is located around 14 km away from Uthukottai, the inter-State limit of Kandaleru-Poondi canal.

The process of acquiring 1,495.65 acres of land, including nearly 55 acres of reserved forest area, to execute the project has also gained steam. A special wing comprising a special district revenue officer and four tahsildars has been formed.

Officials of the WRD said that the environment clearance from the Centre is also expected by this month-end. It is necessary as the proposed reservoir was close to the inter-State border.

Of the nearly 650 acres of government land, ‘enter-upon permission’ has been obtained for about 70 acres from the Tiruvallur collectorate. The WRD plans to start work in this portion of the land early next month.

“We expect to acquire remaining portion of the government land in two or three weeks. A proposal has been submitted to the Commissioner of Land Administration who will in turn forward it to the government for approval,” said an official of the Tiruvallur collectorate.

The tahsildars have also started the process of acquiring around 800 acres of private ‘patta’ lands in villages, including Kannankottai, Karadiputhur and Pallikuppam. “ We hope to complete the entire process within eight months,” said the official.

An official of the WRD said there are plans to create an earthen bund running for a length of 7.1 km and height of up to 14 metre using the excavated sand.

Besides an 8.3 km long canal that would be formed to bring Krishna water from Kandaleru-Poondi canal at Uthukkotai, a diversion channel running to a distance of 2 km would be provided to transport surplus water to other water bodies in Andhra Pradesh.

“We want to complete the project by March 2015,” the official added.

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