Chennai

Water security mission to watch out for city’s needs

Many of the 280 waterbodies in the city have shrunk owing to urbanisation —Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

Many of the 280 waterbodies in the city have shrunk owing to urbanisation —Photo: G. Krishnaswamy  

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Soon, a Sustainable Water Security Mission will be formed to protect and restore waterbodies and meet Chennai’s growing drinking water needs.

In her statement under Rule 110 at Assembly on Monday, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced that the committee will ensure that pilot projects chalked out are carried out at a cost of Rs. 5 crore. There are over 280 waterbodies in the city and many have shrunk due to urbanisation.

According to sources, Chennai Metrowater will be the nodal agency. Besides government agencies like the Chennai Corporation and Water Resources Department, voluntary organisations like Rain Centre and Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) will also be involved in the mission to safeguard water resources.

A total of 15 large campuses, including government buildings, educational institutions and residential spaces like housing board colonies will be identified to implement pilot projects under the mission. Harnessing the driveway runoff too for better groundwater recharge will be the challenge. This will eventually be emulated in other large premises too.

Moreover, two stretches of stormwater drains, which are sewage-free, will be chosen to connect rainwater with recharge wells along roads instead of letting it drain into sea.

Residents of various areas will be involved in cleaning 15 lakes identified around the city. Some of the lakes chosen are those in Perumbakkam, Madambakkam, Seekana lake in Mudichur, Thiruverkadu and Ayapakkam.

Arun Krishnamurthy, founder of EFI, said: “Involving the community for cleaning up lakes is a positive move. Metrowater will chip in with equipment for other major works. This will help residents connect with waterbodies and sustain them in the future.”

The Chief Minister also announced that a sewage treatment plant with a capacity to treat 54 million litres a day (mld) will be set up at a cost of Rs. 65.97 crore. This one too, like many other Chennai Metrowater-owned facilities, will have the infrastructure to generate electricity and cater to the needs of nearly one lakh residents in added areas. Sewage generated in 11 south Chennai areas, including Semmenchery, Uthandi, Okkiam Thoraipakkam, Neelankarai, Karapakkam and Pallikaranai will be treated.

In a bid to cater to the growing requirements of the expanding city, the government plans to lay pipelines for a length of 310 km to improve water supply in several areas, including Anna Nagar, Chetpet, Villivakkam, Erukkancheri, MKB Nagar, Tondiarpet, Velachery and Thousand Lights. In streets that have not been provided with piped supply, new lines will be laid at a cost of Rs. 116 crore.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 10:37:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/water-security-mission-to-watch-out-for-citys-needs/article7700011.ece

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