Schemes set for Centre's clearance

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K.V. Prasad

COIMBATORE: Two major schemes for stepping up drinking water supply and providing underground sewers in Coimbatore city are set for the Central Government's clearance under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

The Coimbatore Corporation's detailed project report on the Pilloor second phase drinking water scheme to provide more than 60 million litres a day is to be sent to the Union Ministry of Urban Development. The State Government has cleared it and will send the report to the Centre soon, sources in the Corporation say.

The ministry has, however, asked the Corporation to rework the Rs.198-crore underground drainage (UGD) scheme saying that the project report has the population of the city in 1999 (9.7 lakh) and not the present one.

Apart from the metros, the ministry has included cities with a population of more than 10 lakh in the infrastructure development mission. The 2001 census puts the population at 11 lakh in the city. Five years hence, the Corporation itself says that it is around 13 lakh.

The Corporation has also contemplated some additional features, over the 1999 plan. The sewer lines may extend up to the areas under smaller local bodies on the city's outskirts. This plan is linked to the possibility of the Corporation expanding its jurisdiction.

As for the water scheme, the Corporation intends to implement this first as pressure for more drinking water mounts by the day. Though it has good storage in two dams under two existing schemes, the Corporation is still forced to resort to alternate day supply and that too for a few hours.

The infrastructure mission insists on 24-hours supply. Corporation Commissioner P. Muthuveeran says that the ministry is firm on uninterrupted supply as a pre-condition to support the scheme.

Therefore, the Pilloor second phase scheme gets the Corporation's top priority.

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