K. Lakshmi

CHENNAI: Construction on Chennai Metrowater’s 100-million-litre-a -day desalination plant in Nemmeli, nearly 35 km south of Chennai, is set to begin soon, with the water agency on Wednesday issuing work orders.

The contract has been awarded to VA Tech Wabag, which would construct the plant in consortium with IDE Technologies, Israel. The firm, which was one of the seven that had bid for the Rs.533-crore project, would have to establish the plant in 24 months.

The Nemmeli plant would come up on a 40-acre site on East Coast Road. The treated water from the plant would be conveyed to the proposed underground tanks in Akkarai, Thiruvanmiyur, Velachery and Pallipattu through East Coast Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai (formerly Old Mahabalipuram Road).

Adjoining areas, including Kelambakkam and those on the IT corridor, would also benefit from the plant, an official said. The network of pipelines would be laid at a cost of Rs.122 crore by L&T, an official said.

The construction of the plant and the pipelines are being funded by the Central government, whereas Metrowater would mobilise Rs.500 crore from its funds for operation and maintenance of the plant for seven years.

The water agency has also chosen Mecon Limited, a public sector undertaking, for management and supervision of the project till its completion, the official added.

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