Tamil Nadu seeks ₹5,400-crore cen­tral as­sis­tance for drinking-wa­ter schemes

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS -

Tamil Nadu has sought ₹5,398crore as­sis­tance from the Cen­tre for wa­ter sup­ply projects across the State, in the back­drop of se­vere wa­ter short­age, es­pe­cially in Chen­nai.

SP Velumani, State Min­is­ter for Mu­nic­i­pal Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment and Im­ple­men­ta­tion of Spe­cial Pro­gramme, pre­sented a mem­o­ran­dum on Tues­day to Ga­jen­dra Singh Shekhawat, Union Min­is­ter for Jal Shakti, seeking fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance.

The projects in­clude de­sali­na­tion plant and connected pipe­line works with a de­signed ca­pac­ity of 100 mil­lion litres per day (MLD) to Villupu­ram and Thin­di­vanam mu­nic­i­pal­ity; Marakkanam and Vikkar­a­vandi town pan­chay­ats and 1,601 ru­ral habi­ta­tions in 10 pan­chayat unions of Villupu­ram dis­trict. The to­tal project cost is around ₹2,000 crore and it is ex­pected to ben­e­fit 16.78 lakh peo­ple.

A com­bined wa­ter sup­ply scheme (CWSS) is also en­vis­aged for eight town pan­chay­ats and SP Velumani, State Min­is­ter for Mu­nic­i­pal Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment and Im­ple­men­ta­tion of Spe­cial Pro­grammes, greets Ga­jen­dra Singh Shekhawat, Union Min­is­ter for Jal Shakti, in New Delhi on Tues­day

2,452 ru­ral habi­ta­tions in Si­va­gan­gai dis­trict with Cau­very river as source and is ex­pected to ben­e­fit nearly 10.77 lakh peo­ple. The ex­pected drawal of wa­ter is 78.40 MLD and the project cost will be around ₹1,800 crore. Re­vamp­ing and re­ju­ve­na­tion of out­lived 155 CWSS to im­prove the per­for­mance and sup­ply ef­fi­ciency cost­ing ₹1,000 crore is also planned.

At present, there are about 600 ma­jor wa­ter sup­ply schemes be­ing main­tained by Tamil Nadu Wa­ter Sup­ply and Drainage Board, Chen­nai Metro Wa­ter Sup­ply and Sew­er­age

Board and other lo­cal bod­ies. Many of the wa­ter sup­ply schemes are de­pen­dent on sur­face wa­ter -- dams, rivers and streams. Apart from this, ru­ral wa­ter sup­ply schemes are pro­vided with un­der­ground deep borewells.

“I re­quest the min­is­ter to sup­port Tamil Nadu in a large scale to take up var­i­ous wa­ter sup­ply projects,” Velumani urged Shekhawat.

In 2016, the State faced an un­prece­dented drought sit­u­a­tion. Sub­se­quently, in 2017, the State had re­ceived deficit rain­fall and in 2018 there was a 24 per cent deficit in rain­fall. High­light­ing the drought sit­u­a­tion in the State, the mem­o­ran­dum said the State Gov­ern­ment had no­ti­fied and de­clared 17 dis­tricts and 38 blocks in seven dis­tricts hav­ing deficit an­nual rain­fall and fac­ing se­vere drought con­di­tions. Fol­low­ing fail­ure of mon­soon, the lo­cal bod­ies are fac­ing chal­lenges in sup­ply­ing drinking wa­ter due to de­ple­tion of wa­ter ta­ble and dry­ing up of wa­ter sources.

Drought relief works like sink­ing of new borewells, de­silt­ing of open wells, re­ju­ve­na­tion of wa­ter sup­ply schemes, wa­ter sup­ply through tanker lor­ries are be­ing taken with avail­able re­sources. Also, aban­doned quar­ries have been utilised to draw and sup­ply wa­ter to the pub­lic after test­ing and treat­ing the wa­ter.

For Chen­nai Metropoli­tan area, two ma­jor de­sali­na­tion projects at an es­ti­mated cost of ₹7,337.78 crore to sup­ply 550 MLD of wa­ter have been taken up and both these projects are ex­pected to be com­pleted by De­cem­ber, 2022, the mem­o­ran­dum said.

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