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Chennai Metro water planning third desalination project

In a few years, the expanded city can hope for improved water supply, thanks to yet another desalination plant.

Chennai Metrowater has initiated process to set up the third desalination plant in the city. The water agency recently appointed a consultancy firm to prepare a detailed project report for the proposed plant at Pattipulam along the East Coast Road.

The plant will have the capacity to treat 200 million litres a day (MLD) of seawater. This is twice the capacity of the desalination plants at Minjur and Nemmeli. The latter will begin operations soon.

Aecom India Private Limited along with GHD Pty Limited, Australia, and Watek Engineering Corporation, USA, will prepare the project report on the feasibility of a desalination plant at Pattipulam which is four kilometres away from the Nemmeli plant.

The demand for water has grown by leaps and bounds after the recent expansion of the city. There is a shortfall of nearly 360 MLD owing to demand from various quarters, including bulk consumers, adjacent municipalities and industries.

Nearly 831 MLD is supplied to the expanded city.

While the Minjur plant generates 100 MLD of treated water to cater to the northern parts of the city, the one in Nemmeli, which is to be commissioned in the next two months, will serve the southern parts of the city, including Tiruvanmiyur, Velachery and fast-developing suburbs along the IT corridor.

Officials of Metrowater said that as there are no other reliable source for augmenting the city water supply and bridge the widening gap between demand and supply.

To meet increasing demand in the future, the proposed plant at Pattipulam can be expanded to treat 400 MLD of seawater. The plant will come up on a 203-acre site. Seawater samples will have to be studied at different seasons to assess quality. “We will require consultants to take up environmental impact assessment study to comply with the guidelines of the ministry of environment and forests,” an official said.

The consultant is expected to complete and submit the detailed project report in eight or nine months after which the tendering process is set to begin.

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