The Northern Provincial Council is actively examining the prospects of implementing a sizable desalination project aimed at a permanent solution to the recurring crisis of drinking water in the province.
A special meeting at which this issue was discussed at length, chaired by Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran, was held at the Jaffna Public Library Auditorium last Wednesday with participants including Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarians Mavai S Senathiraja, S. Sritharan, Northern Provincial Council Ministers, Councilors, Northern Provincial Council Opposition Leader S.Thavarasa and many others contributing actively to the discussion.
An American expert Nicolai who was at the meeting expressed his views on converting the sea water into drinking water.
According to sources, the Maruthankerni sea area in the North was suggested as the ideal location for the desalination plant. However the setting up the plant at the particular location was opposed by certain Councillors on the premises that it could potentially hamper the fishing industry in the immediate locality.
The American participant explained that the proposed desalination project would instead of causing harmful environmental effects in fact cause eco-conversions which would trigger more breeding of marine life in the locality.
The alternate solution of channeling fresh water from the Iranaimadu Tank in Kilinochchi to the Jaffna Peninsula was also discussed at the meeting.
The Northern Minister of Environment P.Aiynkaranesan said the plan was an inevitability in the context of the search for a long term solution to the province’s recurring water crisis.
The Northern Provincial Council envisages financial inputs from the Asian Development Bank and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board to make the project a reality.