Chennai Metro to get a second depot

Chennai Metro Rail will soon have a second depot to facilitate better maintenance of trains when the other corridors become operational. This depot may be located near the Chennai airport. “It is not an immediate need. We are holding discussions with defence authorities to take over their land located opposite Chennai airport. Once land acquisition is over, we will gear up to begin construction of the depot.” Since we have to corridors (Washermenpet to Chennai airport and Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount), there will be a requirement for an additional depot to carryout maintenance of trains. Also, if technical problems arise in the Koyambedu depot, this will come to our rescue”, an other official said.

Third and fourth desal plants await state nod

To find a reliable water source to eater to the growing needs of the city, Chennai Metrowater has set the ball rolling for two more desalination plants in Nemmeli and  Perur on East Coast Road, about 40 km south of Chennai. Chennai will soon get its third desalination plant at Nemmeli with a capacity to treat 150 million litres per day (mld.). It will come up on a nearly 11 acre vacant space  on the same premises that houses a 100 mld capacity plant. Spread over 90acres, the fourth desalination plant will be set up at Perur, located a few kilometres away from Nemmeli. Once commissioned, the Perur facility will be the largest among the four plants with a capacity to treat 400 mld of seawater.

Multi-crore project faces more delays

A delay by  Chennai Metrowater in shifting water main live running beneath Manali Oil Refinery Road (MORR), is threatening to push the deadline of the   600 crore Ennore-Manali Road improvement project in north Chennai. The project envisages widening of four arterial roads in the northern neighbourhoods, Sources at the National Highways Authority of India said the body had paid Metrowater to shift the line and the water agency had already laid a new line. However, the old line still carries water and residents of Sathyamoorthy Nagar, Ambedkar nagar, Jothi Nagar and Ernavur in Thiruvottiyur down their daily supply of water from it.

Third water plant in the works

In a few years, the expanded city can hope for improved water supply tanks 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 of seawater. This is twice the capacity of the dasalination plants at Minjur and Nemmeli.

Civic body to widen net on property tax

The Chennai Corporation will conduct a study on buildings including courts, police stations and police quarters yet to be covered under the property tax as part of the effort to improve tax collections. The revenue department of Chennai Corporation has intensified efforts to increase property tax collection. The civic body plans to issue notices to buildings that have failed to pay property tax. The civic body will ask Metrowater to disconnect water supply to buildings that have not paid property tax. The civic body has set a target of setting up 2,000 bank counters in the city for walk-in payment of property tax to improve tax collection.

Metrowater’s latest green gambit

Central Metrowater will call in a consultant to validate its latest ecofriendly initiative-generation of electricity from methane captured at the three new sewage treatment plants at Perungudi, Nesapakkam and Koyambedu. The validation is a must to earn a carbon emission certificate which will enable Metrowater to trade its carbon credits internationally. Meanwhile, the agency’s attempts to get a similar certificate for its existing plants are in the final stages of completion.

An account soon, of every drop of drinking water

To increase accountability in water supply  management, Chennai Metrowater will soon implement a system where the entire process, from sourcing to distribution of drinking water to residents, will be monitored through a centralised online network. The water agency floated a tender recently to implement the project using real-time data acquisition and a matrix display system. According to sources in Metrowater, the centralised city water supply network will help the agency monitor the status of supply daily.

Tardy mansoon : Water table rises only marginally

The shortfall in rains this season has begun to have an impact on groundwater in the city. The water level has witnessed only a marginal rise this July compared to last year, according to a study of Chennai Metrowater. For the past few years, the water level across the city had risen by a minimum of 0.50 metre annually. However, this year, there has been a rise of only up to 0.15 metre in areas, including those newly merged with the city.

Plant near completion

The city will soon get another source to meet its drinking water demand. The upcoming desalination plant at Nemmeli, about 35 km. south of Chennai along the East Coast Road, will be operational in two or three months. The second desalination plant in the city, it will have a capacity to treat 100 million litres of water (mld.) a day. Sources said that nearly 92 per cent of the work had been completed. The project will be completed by Sept. end. The first desalination plant is located at Minjur and can treat about 100 mld. of water. At present Metrowater supplies about 830 million litres a day to the city through pipelines and tankers. Water from Nemmali plant would help balance the less of supply from Veeranam tank for want of sufficient storage.

Fifth reservoir for city’s water needs

In its efforts to create a new reservoir in  Tiruvallur district, the Water Resources Department (WRD) will soon float tenders to start work in linking two water bodies in Kannankottai and Thervoikandigai, which come under the Gummidipoondi taluk. The proposed reservoir will be able to store one thousand million cubic feet of water, when it is filled twice – equal to one month’s drinking water supply in Chennai. This will serve as the fifth reservoir to cater to the water needs of the city, and will also store Krishna Water from Andhra Pradesh.

Corporation to intensity mass cleaning programme

Civic body officials at the zonal level have been asked to intensify the housefly control programme in the city. Teams of civic body officials in association with other agencies such as metrowater will start monitoring water contamination at the street-level. Officials will also intensify action against unauthorised entries selling unhygenic food. Concerned about the increasing number in many localities, the civic body formed a group of 600 personnel which has been found to be incidequate to cope with housefly menace in the city.

New Metrowater offices for city soon

Residents of merged areas of the city, who at present find it hard to register their grievances relating to erratic water supply, may soon have dedicated offices in their locality. Chennai Metrowater has launched a joint inspection with Corporation officials to identify sites to construct depot offices and area offices. Metrowater officials said that once places are identified in each ward, the project, worth   20 crore, will commence. Besides existing 155 depot offices, 93 offices would now be constructed. Every depot office in the city now serves a population of about 50,000. This number might now increase by 20,000 in the expanded localities, as some wards in local bodies have been merged, officials said. The water agency aims to complete the project by this year, they added.