The Public Works Department (PWD) in Puducherry has planned to set up a one MLD (million litres per day) desalination plant on a pilot basis in the city, to overcome the depletion of groundwater sources and to meet the ever-expanding drinking water requirements of residents in the urban agglomeration limits.
A team from the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavnagar, Gujarat will be visiting Puducherry next week for a techno-feasibility study and to provide technical advice to the PWD for preparation of a Detailed Project Report (DPR).
The proposed plant will help to meet the water requirement of the region. The estimated cost of the desalination plant will be ₹25 crore.
According to official sources, Puducherry is currently dependent on over 100 deep tube-wells in the urban and peripheral areas for the city’s day-to-day water needs. As many as 220 million litres of water are supplied through pipelines to overhead reservoirs located in the urban limits. With water being extracted for over 16 to 20 hours per day to meet the rising demand, the quality of water has started deteriorating over a period. As a result, various parameters such as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), pH, nitrate, iron, and chloride have increased over the permissible levels.
“The desalination plant is proposed to be set up on 2.5 acres of land in the city limits with an additional provision to upscale it in the future, considering the rising demand for water in Puducherry. The treated water will be exclusively meant for drinking water purposes and will conform to Indian Standards IS 10500 (2012). The plant will require a power requirement of 500 KW and meet the drinking water requirement of a population of 1.75 lakh,” said Secretary to Government (PWD), D. Manikandan.
The Government is looking at options for availing of financial assistance either through a negotiated loan or under existing schemes of the Central government. If the project is approved, the plant will be set up in the next seven months. The economic feasibility of the project will determine further demand for the establishment of similar plants in the Union Territory, Mr. Manikandan added.