In the next three or four years, some of the “merged areas” in northern and southern parts of the city may be covered by underground drainage network. Chennai Metrowater is set to begin work in eight added areas in a few months.
These projects worth ₹1,463.14 crore were recently approved for funding under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation 2.0 (AMRUT 2.0). The flagship programme of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs would partly fund the schemes.
The long-pending schemes would treat sewage generated by the existing population of nearly 4.92 lakh in Semmenchery, Puzhal, Mathur, Vadaperumbakkam, Theeyambakkam, Edayanchavaadi, Sadayankuppam, Kadapakkam and left out areas in Madhavaram.
Officials of the Metrowater said the underground drainage network in these areas spread over 40 sq.km. had been designed for a projected population and sewage generation in 2055. The water agency would create an infrastructure to treat nearly 99 million litres of sewage a day (mld) expected to be generated in the next three decades.
For instance, sewage flow in Semmenchery is expected to increase from 6.14 mld in 2025 to 14.95 mld in 2055. Similarly, sewage generation in Puzhal would go from 6.35 mld in 2025 to 19 mld in three decades. The collection network would be linked to sewage treatment plants in Kodungaiyur and Sholinganallur.
Welcoming the move, residents said it may largely reduce the pollution in waterways in their areas. Satish Galley, a resident of Semmenchery, said it was a long-pending demand in the area. Many residents spend a minimum of ₹2,000 per month to clear sewage through tankers that dispose at Metrowater’s decanting points. Some of them illegally dump sewage at Buckingham Canal.
Officials said though a share of project cost would be funded by the State government as well, a portion would have to be borne by the water agency. The water agency has sought financial assistance from KfW, the German state-owned development bank.
“Once the funds are approved, we will start work within five or six months. The works will be completed within two to three years,” said an official. Moreover, the funds would be used to strengthen the existing network in Alandur and improve the old sewer collection system in Thousand Lights.