In an attempt to make the city waterways less polluted, Chennai Metrowater has started its long-pending project to plug sewage outfalls and reduce the volume of untreated sewage discharged into the rivers.
It is estimated that nearly 60 million litres of untreated sewage was released into the Buckingham Canal, Cooum and Adyar rivers through 337 outfalls. Metrowater has identified such outfalls in nearly 20 areas, including Mylapore, Chintadripet, Washermenpet, Chetpet, Otteri, Anna Nagar, Korukkupet etc. While most of them were let into the waterways through stormwater drains, some were directly released by those living along the banks.
Sources in the Metrowater said that measures were afoot to plug 179 sewage outfalls in the first phase of the Rs.150-crore project taken up under the Infrastructure and Amenities Fund. Of them, nearly 120 were discharging sewage into the Buckingham canal.
About 20 per cent of the project to plug outfalls and improve sewage collection system has been completed. “We are increasing the capacity of the sewer lines to match the requirement of expanding population for the next 30 years. We are also identifying illegal connections along with the Chennai Corporation,” said an official.
Similarly, about 50 of the 219 sewage pumping stations across the city were being improved to take in additional load of sewage.
While the first phase was expected to be completed in 2016, bids had been invited for the second phase of the project, covering the remaining 158 outfalls.
Work on the Rs.101-crore project would start next year, officials said.