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Drainage project may take one more year

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The site earmarked in Keelkattalai for the main pumping station of the underground drainage project of Pallavaram Municipality.
The site earmarked in Keelkattalai for the main pumping station of the underground drainage project of Pallavaram Municipality.

K. Manikandan

The reason for delay centres on the main pumping station

TAMBARAM: The massive, ambitious underground drainage project of Pallavaram Municipality that has suffered a delay is likely to take another year for completion, considering the status of some of its key installations.

When the preliminary works began in 2006, the cost of the project was estimated to be around Rs.38 crore and scheduled for completion by the middle of 2007. The estimates were revised more than once and the project, being implemented by Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, is now expected to cost Rs.71.5 crore. The estimates were revised due to change in the route of some of the main sewers and including some areas that were left out when the original project report was prepared.

As not even half-the-project work was completed by the middle of 2007, the authorities fixed June 2008 as the completion date. But even now the project completion is a long way to go.

The prime reason for the delay in the project centres on the main pumping station. It was originally planned to construct this facility near the water-spread area of the Keelkattalai Lake but it was dropped after court rulings, recommendations by an expert committee and protests from environmentalists.

Now, the site for the proposed facility has been shifted away from the lake. The site has been fenced, but there is no indication of work commencing on this crucial facility. Construction of this main pumping station and sinking main conveying sewers to a sewage treatment plant in Perungudi form part of the Rs. 12.5-crore Package V (Five) of the project.

With work yet to commence, the project is likely to take about one year for completion. Pallavaram Municipal Chairman E. Karunanidhi said that but for the main pumping station work, the rest of the project was proceeding briskly.

Four other lift stations and sub-pumping stations were fast nearing completion and in most areas, street-lines and main sewers were laid. Road restoration works were being carried out in as many areas as they could. Litigations and land acquisition problems, that were now sorted out, had severely delayed the project.

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