Madurai

Budget cut for new Periyar drinking water project

It envisages drawing of 120 MLD from Lower Camp to Madurai

MADURAI

The estimated cost for the third pipeline project to draw water from Periyar dam to meet the increasing drinking water requirement of Madurai has been cut by Asian Development Bank.

The project is aimed at providing an additional 125 million litres of water per day from Lower Camp hydropower station near Gudalur to Madurai Corporation.

A senior engineer of the Corporation said that the project, which was initially planned at a cost of ₹1,150 crore under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), was being vetted closely by the ADB that would provide an assistance of 30-33% of the project cost.

The Corporation, which originally proposed to allocate ₹421 crore of the total funds to provide infrastructure for drawing water using gravitational force from Lower Camp to the treatment plant at Pannaipatti, will have to do with ₹318 crore. The ADB has suggested that the department make major changes at the design level.

At a meeting conducted on January 11 with Commissioner of Municipal Administration G. Prakash and Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Limited, the ADB rejected the idea of using gravitational force for transporting water and instead approved pumping from Lower Camp to Pannaipatti.

The former process would involve micro-tunneling in the Western Ghats using trenchless technology, a costlier method than pumping, said the engineer.

“While the use of gravitation will mean that water will automatically reach Pannaipatti, the same can happen if we place pumps of suitable capacity wherever required. The pumps also have to be fitted according to terrain,” he said.

“Though the project cost using pumping may turn out to be cheaper initially, it will result in higher recurring charges due to pumping,” he added.

The engineer also said that a tender was called initially for micro-tunneling and construction of trenches but it was cancelled as it did not have sufficient and expert takers, he said.

“All the money diverted from this project will be used for funding another project under AMRUT,” Corporation Commissioner S. Visakan said.

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Printable version | Mar 26, 2020 10:38:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/budget-cut-for-new-periyar-drinking-water-project/article26487721.ece

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