Special Correspondent

Work on 33 overhead tanks progressing at a fast pace

TIRUCHI: Even while work on the various components of the Rs.169-crore drinking water supply augmentation scheme for the city is under way, officials of the Tiruchi Corporation are pulling all the stops to commission the collector wells of the project, coming up on the Coleroon river, at the earliest.

Civic officials are planning to make the collector wells operational and pump the water through the existing network, even before the other components of the new scheme were complete.

Three infiltration wells were being sunk on the Coleroon bed at Melur near Srirangam. Each of these wells would tap about 31 million litres a day (MLD). The new scheme will tap about 58.60 MLD immediately on completion and 93.26 MLD in the ultimate stage in 2039. Currently, a major portion of the city's water requirement, about 86 MLD, is tapped from the Cauvery river.

The project, financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), would increase the per capita drinking water supply to 135 litres a day and ensure equitable distribution to all parts of the city.

“We are planning to pump water from the Collector Well 3 to the Corporation sump at Ayyalamman Padithurai near Cauvery and link it to the existing network of overhead tanks and distribution mains. We hope to do this by July end,” Corporation Commissioner T.T.Balsamy told The Hindu on Tuesday. According to officials, about 80 per cent of the work on the collector well has been completed.

Work is being expedited to get the collector well commissioned in time for Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi's next visit by July-end or August. Transport Minister K.N.Nehru has already indicated that the Chief Minister would inaugurate/commission various development projects in the district, including the completed components of the new water scheme.

Meanwhile, work on construction of 33 out of the 35 overhead tanks (OHTs) under the new scheme was fast under way in various parts of the city. The city is currently supplied water through 54 OHTs. Additional distribution mains have been proposed for a total stretch of over 262 km under the new scheme. The project has been split into eight major packages such as laying of distribution mains, improvements to existing line and construction of overhead tanks.