Mangaluru, Feb 14, 2018: Team, led by Kavita Sanil, Mayor, visited Minjur Seawater Desalination Plant in Chennai on February 12 to study the feasibility of setting up such a plant in the city for supplying sweet water mainly to industries.
With Minister for Urban Development and Haj R. Roshan Baig yet to bring experts to the city to explore the possibility of setting up a seawater desalination plant, a team from Mangaluru City Corporation has visited Chennai to study whether it can be made a reality here.
Mayor Sanil said the team studied the functioning of 100 MLD (million litres a day) capacity plant on the northern outskirts of Chennai which is in operation since July, 2010.
Run by Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (CMWSSB). It has been built on Design Build Own Operate & Transfer basis (DBOOT) in less than Rs. 1,000 crore. It supplied water to industries at the rate of Rs. 70 per a kiloliter. Its water is also being used for drinking in Chennai.
The Mayor said the team was impressed with its functioning and felt that such a plant could be set up in Mangaluru to meet the industrial needs. The Mayor said she would write a letter to the Chief Minister to set up such a plant in Mangaluru in the interest of future demand for water. The team returned to the city on Tuesday.
A water supply engineer at Mangaluru City Corporation said now the corporation supplied about 30 MLD of water, drawn from the Netravathi, to industries in the city with 10 MLD being supplied to MCF Ltd alone. The corporation lifted 160 MLD of water from the Netravathi at Thumbe vented dam.
Meanwhile, Min Baig had told media on January 7, 2017 that he would bring here experts from a company within a fortnight to explore the possibility of setting up the desalination plant on a pilot basis.
He went on record that representatives of a company had made a presentation to him in Bengaluru on producing sweet water from salt water through the desalination plant. The officials of Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board were convinced about it. The government would not invest any money. But so far the minister has not brought any team to the city. The minister had suggested the city corporation authorities to visit Chennai to see the functioning of seawater desalination plants.
Plant proposal was mooted two years ago :
At the height of drinking water crisis in the city during 2016 summer, then Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim had convened a meeting of heads of major industries in the region in May 2016, asking them to look at the possibility of setting up a desalination plant exclusively to meet industrial requirements of future.
They had suggested setting up a special purpose vehicle for the purpose. Mr. Ibrahim had also appointed a nodal officer, who is a Joint Director of Industries, to take the proposal forward.
Gokuldas Nayak, Joint Director (Industries) and also Deputy Commissioner (administration) at the city corporation said on Tuesday that a State-level committee of the government has approved a proposal by the MRPL for setting up such a plant in the city. The proposal is yet to move forward.
The company required 14 acres of land for setting up 10 MLD capacity seawater desalination plant for its own use, he said. A spokesperson of the MRPL said that the proposal is alive.