Focus to be on added areas; notices will be served on house owners

The Coimbatore Corporation will soon launch a drive to identify illegal water connections and initiate action against those who have such connections. According to Commissioner G. Latha and Deputy Commissioner S. Sivarasu the Corporation will launch the programme in the next few days and its focus will be on added areas.

The decision to focus on added areas follows a study the Corporation conducted a few days ago in Ward 32 — Vilankurichi. During their door-to-door checking, the Corporation officials found around 500 illegal drinking water connections in that the house owners had not paid the security deposit. They also did not pay the monthly water charges.

The result of the exercise has led the Corporation to believe that if it were to conduct similar exercise in the added areas, it would be able to stumble upon many more connections.

Mr. Sivarasu says that the Corporation estimates that there are around 3,000 unauthorised connections.

To identify the illegal connections, the Corporation will soon depute teams of five engineers each to conduct a thorough survey. Assuming that an engineer checks 50 connections a day, a team will check 250 connections a day and team will go on until it completes a ward.

After identifying the illegal connections, the Corporation will collect the necessary details and present the same to the senior officials, who will serve notices on house owners to provide them an opportunity to legalise their connections.

If the owners accept the offer, the Corporation will continue to supply water. If not, it will sever the connection and also initiate action, Ms. Latha says.

The two officers say that the Corporation faces problems of illegal water connections because there was unscrupulous issue of connections in large numbers in added areas when they were municipalities, town panchayats or village panchayats prior to the merger with the Corporation. After merger, the Corporation had a tough time collecting details related to not only water connection but also other details like property tax assessments, vacant sites, etc.

Ms. Latha says that the regularisation will bring increase in one-time payment towards regularisation and also water charges.

There are around 2.25 lakh water connections in the Corporation.

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