CHENNAI: Even as the city continues to struggle for water, several additional sources, such as quarries, which were supplying water to Chennai have started going dry.
Now, another 11 quarries have been identified in Kancheepuram to meet the city’s requirements.
The new sources can provide 50 million litres per day (MLD) for 120 days, and are likely to be tapped once pumping stops at Sikkarayapuram quarry. The newly identified quarries are located at Pulipakkam, Nallambakkam and Keerapakkam.
The quarry near Pulipakkam is the largest, with a capacity of 5,000-7,000 litres. In Nallambakkam and Keerapakkam, there are 10 quarries which will act as back-up sources as and when the water crisis worsens. A senior Metro Water official said that 30MLD of water will be drawn from Sikkarayapuram quarry till July 15, after which pumping will start from Erumaiyur quarry.
Once both these sources are exhausted, pipelines will be laid to transport water from the 11 quarries to the city after treatment.
“Samples from each quarry has been given for testing to IIT Madras and they have been surveyed too. Quality of water is very good and it hasn’t been contaminated by sewage. This is mainly because there are no inhabitants living near these quarries. Private lorries are already tapping water from Pulipakkam quarry,” added the official.
Pipes will be laid from Pulipakkam quarry to Chembarambakkam reservoir, so that water can be treated there. Water from the other three quarries will be treated at the source, either by UV method or chlorination, after which it will be let into the pipes coming from Veeranam dam.
Cheaper than water train
THE 10 MLD Cauvery water being brought to the city by train from Vellore will be available by the first week of July. But officials say that loss during transportation could be enormous and only 8 MLD is likely to reach the city. A litre of water brought by trains will cost Rs 150, say, officials, twice of what the same quantity from a desalination plant will cost.
“Transporting water via trains is so much more expensive when compared to drawing water from quarries,” said an official.