French agency extends funding for drinking water project in Puducherry by two years

Plans have been drawn up for sinking around 50 fresh borewells on the riverbeds in rural areas, following the recommendations of the Ground Water Authority. 

Published: 23rd November 2021 02:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2021 02:28 AM   |  A+A-

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Representational Image. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: The comprehensive drinking water project planned by the Puducherry government at an outlay of Rs 523 crore got a fresh lease of life with the French government development agency agreeing to extend the funding by another two years for implementing the project.

This was agreed upon after the Puducherry government delegation, led by PWD Minister K Lakshminarayanan, held discussions with the officials of Agence Francaise De Development (AFD), the French agency, led by Bruno Bosle, Country Director for India, a couple of days ago. “They have agreed to extend the agreement after its expiry in June 2022 till June 2024. It is a soft loan to be repaid with 1.5 per cent interest in 15 years,” Lakshminarayanan said.

With more and more borewells becoming unfit for the supply of drinking water due to high Total Dissolved Salts (TDS), the government is looking forward to sinking fresh borewells in rural areas, while closing down the borewells with high levels of TDS, said Lakshminarayanan. In Puducherry urban areas, TDS levels in 100 borewells, out of 151 borewells, have high TDS levels between 1,000 and 2,000. Those borewells need to be immediately closed and replaced with new ones. The daily requirement of water is around 90 million litres (MLD) in the town area alone.

Plans have been drawn up for sinking around 50 fresh borewells on the riverbeds in rural areas, following the recommendations of the Ground Water Authority. The PWD had selected sites on the beds of Then Penniyar and Malatar rivers, and the Guduviyar tank. “Recharge shafts will be put in each borewell dug to ensure that they get recharged while the water is drawn for supplying. This way, the borewells will get converted into recharge borewells,” he said. Pipelines will be laid to bring the water to the town area. Besides, some quantity of surface water from tanks will also be purified through water treatment and supplied for drinking.

A Project Implementation Agency would be established shortly for overseeing the work. The social and environmental impact was assessed and the AFD team was taken to the selected rural areas by the PWD officials for site inspection. A meeting with the MLAs of the areas concerned would be held to explain the purview of the project. This AFD project could not be implemented in the earlier years due to objections raised by the people on the sinking of borewells.

Besides, more RO plants will be set up to increase the water supply. Desalination plants have also been proposed under AMRUT II, he said, adding that with all these measures taken by the government the drinking water issues would be addressed in Puducherry.

India Matters


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