Population surge: Chennai’s sewage treatment network to be expanded
Opening of Tiruvottiyur and Sholinganallur plants to add 85MLD to the total capacity
CHENNAI: As the rising population of Chennai has resulted in increased pressure on the city’s sewage network, Chennai Metrowater is setting up new sewage treatment plants in many places, including Shollinganallur and Tiruvottriyur, which are likely to be in place soon.
The city’s sewage treatment plants (STP) which have a capacity to treat 732 MLD, will be expanding by adding 85MLD with the opening of Tiruvottiyur and Sholinganallur plants.
Officials told Express that the Tiruvottriyur plant, which has a capacity to treat 31 million litres of effluent waste daily will be fully functional in the next three months. “As 97 per cent of construction work will be completed by July 20, the plant will be ready to operate. But, for testing and commissioning the various units in the plant, we need two months,” said a senior Metrowater official.
Being built at a cost of around `26 crores, the plant will benefit residents in the surrounding areas of Tiruvottriyur and Manali, including Edayanchavadi, Andarkuppam, Vadaperumbakkam and MMDA Mathur. “In zone one, households coming under wards 15-19 will benefit once this STP starts functioning. Almost all houses have been brought under the underground sewage system at Tiruvottriyur and this pipeline will be connected to this plant,” said an official.
With more areas in the zones of one and 15 being brought under UGS, the need to add more STPs in such areas is crucial. Because of the absence of additional STPs, incidents of raw untreated sewage being directly let out into water bodies in the extended parts of the city are increasing.
Apart from the existing STP at Shollinganallur which operates at a capacity of 18 MLD, construction work of the new plant with a capacity of 54MLD is nearing completion, said officials. The plant will be operational by January 2019.
The project which commenced around two years ago is being built at a budget of `66 crores and is located around a kilometre from Buckingham Canal. “Around 40 per cent of the work is completed at the new plant. Houses in Pallikaranai and Shollinganallur-Karapakkam are currently being brought under the underground sewage system. Once this is completed, their effluent waste will be directed to this plant for treatment,” said an official.
Currently, effluent waste from localities along the IT corridor, East Coast Road and Old Mahabalipuram Road are being pumped to the STP at Perungudi. Officials said that once this plant is fully functional after testing its units, sewage from these areas will be sent to the 54MLD plant.
On the other hand, the existing plant at Shollinganallur gets only around 0.9-1 MLD of sewage from the tenements at Perumbakkam slum clearance board, despite a higher capacity. “As many houses in zone 15 are yet to be brought under the underground sewage system, the plant gets to treat only less than half of its capacity,” said an official.