Staff Reporter

Karunanidhi’s request to Manmohan

Then Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram made announcement in 2004-05 Budget speech about the desalination plant

The plant, to be set up on 40 acres in Nemmeli, will be more cost-effective in terms of its maintenance

It will cater to the water requirements of southern parts of the city

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi requested full financial assistance from the Centre for the Nemmeli desalination plant, at his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Thursday.

In a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Mr. Karunanidhi said then Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had announced in his 2004-05 Budget speech that a desalination plant would be established in Chennai at the cost of Rs.1,000 crore.

Based on this, a 100-million-litre-a-day-capacity plant was proposed at Nemmeli 35 km south of Chennai.

The detailed project report for the plant was handed over to Mr. Chidambaram in January this year, seeking sanction of the total project cost of Rs.908 crore as full grant from the Central Government.

A Chennai Metrowater official said the DPR was given a technical clearance by the Union Ministry of Urban Development after which the project was discussed at the Expenditure Finance Committee meeting in July.

The committee had recommended Central grant of Rs.871.24 crore.

The National Coastal Zone Management Authority also gave its concurrence for the project last month.

At present, the project proposal has been placed before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for its approval, the official said.

Metrowater expects to get approval for sanction of the grant recommended by the CCEA later this month.

Once the funding for the project was finalised, the tendering process would be initiated, the official said.

The desalination plant, to be set up on 40 acres in Nemmeli, would be more cost-effective in terms of its maintenance compared to the other such facility coming up in Minjur on the northern fringes of Chennai.

The Nemmeli plant would cater to the water requirements of the southern parts of the city.

The treated water would be conveyed to the water distribution stations in Velachery, Pallipattu and Thiruvanmiyur.

It would also meet the water needs of the areas on the IT Corridor and the nearby localities such as Semmencheri and Karapakkam.