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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Keep sustainability in mind while preparing water grid, stakeholders tell officials

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Officials of local bodies have said that sewage inflow should be stopped before utilising waterbodies like Kolava for piped water supply.
| Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ

A water grid must be prepared utilising the potential drinking water sources for local bodies near Chennai.

This was one of the suggestions provided at the stakeholders meeting held on Friday on seeking a feasibility report for identification of waterbodies around Chennai as sources for various local bodies. Participants were of the view that water grids would ensure better planning of water supply in local bodies. Sustainability throughout the year must be ascertained, according to representatives from various government agencies.

Voyants Solutions Pvt. Ltd. was chosen as the consultant to prepare feasibility report for the study taken up by Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust and Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Ltd.

Twenty-one waterbodies have been selected for conducting a study on ways to augment supply. Some of the criteria were improving the storage capacity of 40 million cubic feet, water quality and rainfall and surplus water available. The waterbodies chosen for the first phase include Kolava, Madurantakam, Nemam, Thirunindravur, Cooum big tank, Orathur and Manimangalam. Augmentation of water supply in Tambaram and Avadi municipal corporations and then local bodies would be prioritised in the first phase.

Projected demand

It was estimated that a population of 61 lakh would receive an additional 379 million litres a day of water in the next three decades once the lakes are rejuvenated.

Hydrogeologists from Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board and Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board suggested that water budgeting must be done at local body level and the benchmark of supply of 135 litres of water per capita per day should be met.

While engineers from Water Resources Department noted that sewage outfalls into Kolavai lake need to be plugged before using it as source for water supply, officials of various local bodies wanted sources closer to their region to be tapped.

The feasibility report would incorporate suggestions and existing proposals and be finalised in a few weeks after which a detailed project report would be prepared.

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