One year ago, Chennai suffered a historic drought. For nearly 200 days, the metropolis of 7 million people facing the Bay of Bengal in eastern India went without a drop of rain, pushing it to breaking point.
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras, or IIT Madras, has developed a solar ‘parabolic trough collector’ (PTC) system for concentrating solar energy for industrial applications like desalination, space heating and space cooling.
The Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board’s (TWAD) proposal to set up a 60 MLD Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) plant at Kuthiraimozhi village in Ramanathapuram has been recommended for CRZ clearance by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Environment Ministry after a modified proposal was submitted.
Chennai Metrowater is drawing additional water from Chembarambakkam reservoir to maintain piped water supply in south Chennai to offset the gap in distribution following the shutdown of the desalination plant in Nemmeli.
The plant has a capacity to supply 100 million litres a day to various parts of south Chennai. It has, however, resumed piped water supply with alternative sources from waterbodies in Chembarambakkam and Veeranam.
Piped water supply to several areas in south Chennai may be affected for 15 days, from March 17, as Chennai Metrowater plans to take up work at the Nemmeli desalination plant, that has a capacity to treat 100 million litres of seawater a day.
The water agency will fix the travelling band screen, a self-cleaning screen in the seawater intake structure, at the desalination plant. The work will be taken up between 6 a.m. on March 17 and 6 a.m. on April 1.
Due to the work, piped water supply to areas 9, 13, 14 and 15 will be affected. The localities include Thiruvanmiyur, Kottivakkam, Perungudi, Adyar, Velachery, Besant Nagar, Mandaveli, Sholinganallur and Neelankarai.
CHENNAI: On Tuesday, CE reported that due to the lack of water supply in the tenements at Perumbakkam Resettlement Colony, a group of people including 50 women from the Colony stood outside the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB), staging a protest, demanding basic needs including water. Soon, in response to the call of the residents, the TNSCB officials resumed water supply and told CE that they will ensure no further problem arises.
In line with the perennial water woes at the Resettlement Colony, the Slum Board officials have decided to soon increase the quantum of water being supplied to the tenements. In four months’ time, by when the construction of 14 more blocks will get over, the Slum Board officials said they will request the Metro Water Board to provide more water according to the needs.
With the four major reservoirs that supply drinking water to Chennai going bone dry and deficit rains during 2018, the city’s water supply was reduced 525 million litres a day (mld). It was one of the first Indian cities to run dry early this year.
As taps stopped flowing and water became a premier commodity, residents looked deeper into the ground and sunk borewells up to a depth of 600 feet. In June, the average groundwater table in the city declined by a staggering nine metres.
Metrowater officials said materials had been sought for the work to commence. The new plant too will employ the reverse osmosis process. But it will have additional components in the pre-treatment process such as dissolved air flotation and ultra filtration, to keep out sea algae and other particles in seawater from hindering the production process.
After playing hide and seek for the last few days, the clouds over Chennai and adjoining areas opened up late on Wednesday night, dumping 10.4cm of rain, making it the wettest day of the year. The city last recorded 10cm rain in a 24-hour period on August 25, 2011.
For hydrogeologists, the record means that the core city with an area of 174sqkm has received about 17,400 million litres of water which would serve the city’s water supply needs for 21 days, assuming every drop of rain is saved.
The State government has sanctioned Rs 6,079 crore for establishing a 400-MLD reverse osmosis desalination plant at Perur on the East Coast Road, according to the GO issued by the Municipal Administration Department last week.
The funds were sanctioned to give effect to the recent announcement made by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami under Rule 110 in the Assembly. The plant, being set up to meet the increasing water demands in Chennai city, is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The JICA will give Rs 4,267.70 crore in two tranches – i.e., Rs 1,744.40 crore as Transche-I and the balance as Tranche-II. The operation and maintenance cost for 20 years is estimated at Rs 20,174.14 crore and the land lease cost at Rs 82 crore for 30 years; that is, Rs 1,000 crore per annum, on an average.