Roshan Baig to bring experts to city to explore setting up desalination plant in Mangaluru

The Hindu

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Taking a leap in the move to set up a desalination plant in the city, Minister for Urban Development and Haj R. Roshan Baig said here on Saturday that he will bring here experts from a company within a fortnight to explore the possibility of setting up the plant on a pilot basis.

Speaking to mediapersons the minister said that representatives of a company made a presentation to him recently in Bengaluru on producing sweet water from salt water through the desalination plant. The officials of Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board are also convinced about it. The government would not invest any money. The plant could be set up by private companies and supplied to industries and domestic purpose like in Chennai.

“I will visit the city again within a fortnight with the experts,” the minister said.

The minister who visited Mangaluru in August last had suggested to Mangaluru City Corporation authorities, including the Mayor, to visit Chennai and understand the functioning of two such plants, at Nemmeli and Minjur, there which supplied water to domestic and industrial purpose. But there were no takers to the suggestion.

Stressing the need to visit Chennai again on Saturday the minister said: “Seeing is believing.”

Incidentally at the height of drinking water crisis 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.

Sridhar, a representative from Mumbai-based Ion Exchange (India) Ltd., a company with expertise in setting up desalination plants, had told the May meeting that the operating cost of producing a kilolitre of water worked out to around Rs. 40. At present, Mangaluru City Corporation was providing water for industrial use at Rs. 60 per kilolitre.

Since then there was no headway on the move.

Comments on this Article
Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai Tue, January-10-2017, 1:00
I wish Modi consulted experts before Demonetization ...
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