Rs. 3,000 will be the penalty first time and Rs. 6,000 second time

Residents who fail to connect their households to the underground sewer system wherever the facility is available in the city will have to pay penalty.

The Tiruchirapalli City Corporation Council on Wednesday approved inclusion of additional penal provisions in the bylaws that make it mandatory for all buildings to be connected with the underground sewer system in 46 wards in the city where the facility was available.

Property owners who failed to discharge sewer into to the UGD line within 30 days would be liable to pay a penalty of Rs. 3,000. Failure to take to underground drainage connection within 30 days after being penalised for the first time would attract a penalty of Rs. 6,000.

An official resolution approved at an urgent meeting of the council on Wednesday justified the move saying stringent provisions were needed to prevent discharge of sewage, including the sullage from toilets in households and other buildings, directly into open drains that ultimately flow into irrigation channels and rivers in the city. The existing sewer system in the 46 wards in the city had a capacity to provide about 42,000 connections. At present, only about 40,000 connections had been provided and human wastes are being directly let into storm-water drains in some places.

The resolution makes it an offence for property owners to let out sullage from septic tanks into storm-water drains in places where the underground sewer system is not available. Property owners who have connected their buildings to the sewer system should ensure that human faeces is not discharged into storm-water drains on any account.

Such offences will attract a penalty of Rs. 250 the first time and Rs. 1,000 the second time (after a gap of one month). Repeated violation of the rule after the second penalty would attract Rs. 3,000 as fine for each count and criminal action.

The size and capacity of septic tanks of properties (in places where underground sewer system is not available) should be proportionate to the number of units and users. Septic tanks which did not conform to the rule would have to be rectified within 30 days.

Earlier, a cross-section of the councillors cutting across party lines demanded a reduction in the penalty for failure to connect to the sewer system recommended at Rs. 5,000 for the first time and Rs. 10,000 for the second offence.

Mayor A. Jaya announced it would be reduced to Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 6,000 respectively.

Corporation commissioner V.P. Thandapani said the move was only intended as a deterrent measure and to sensitise residents against letting out sewage into open drains.

Some of the councillors urged the officials to improve the maintenance of the underground sewer system as failure to operate pumping motors regularly was resulting in overflows.

The council gave its nod for roping in consultants to design and prepare the detailed project estimates for establishing a bus stand at Srirangam and a fish market at Kasivilangi area in the city.