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Water train to arrive in city tomorrow

Over four trips, 11 mld will be brought to augment supply

July 11, 2019 01:26 am | Updated 09:32 am IST - CHENNAI/VELLORE

A pipeline being laid near  the Villivakkam station.

A pipeline being laid near the Villivakkam station.

The first water train will make its way from Jolarpet, in Vellore district, to Chennai on Friday.

Nearly 11 million litres of water will be ferried by the train every day from Jolarpet railway station. The infrastructure to transport and receive water is being given final touches to ensure smooth operation of the 50-wagon train.

Sources in Chennai Metrowater said it was decided to transport 11 mld of water, instead of the originally planned 10 mld, to make best use of the wagons.

A narrow road in South Jagannathan Nagar leads to the railway track near Villivakkam railway station. The track is used by the Integral Coach Factory to move rail coaches between its shell and furnishing divisions.

On Wednesday, workers were busy connecting the 400 mm pipeline laid between the tracks to other pipelines. It has been laid for a distance of nearly 700 metres to match the length of the train.

The pipeline has been fitted with 100 flanges that can be connected to hosepipes to decant water from the train. The manual decanting operation is expected to last two hours, officials said.

The water will then be conveyed to the conduit line which was built to bring water from Red Hills and presently carries water pumped from the agricultural wells in Tiruvallur district. Water will reach the Kilpauk water works located three km away and then get distributed to various parts of the city. Metrowater officials said each train will bring 2.75 mld of water to Chennai. Four trips will be made daily and the transportation cost is ₹8.67 lakh per trip. Two trains with 50 wagons each have been commissioned for the purpose. While one will be stationed near Jolarpet, another will be housed at the Avadi railway yard, according to sources.

Though nearly 95% of the work has been completed, there are some final glitches to be addressed by the technicians, sources said. The trial run of the 3.5-km-long pipeline from Mettusakkarakuppam to Jolarpet yard was conducted on Wednesday.

A five lakh litre tank has been built in Mettusakkarakuppam and additional water is being pumped from the Vellore Combined Water Supply Scheme for the project. It will take three hours and 15 minutes to fill the wagons, officials said.

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