Civic body has already initiated efforts to block the inlets into stormwater drains

The Chennai Corporation has identified 1.6 lakh illegal sewer inlets into stormwater drains (SWDs) across the city.

The civic body has already initiated efforts to block them and prevent sewer getting into the underground network essentially meant to drain rainwater.

Following a drive conducted by the civic body’s Public Health Department to screen all stormwater drains for identification of illegal sewer connections, 373.23 km of the drains were identified as being clogged with sewage from illegal inlets.

The number of illegal sewer connections from buildings in residential and commercial neighbourhoods is 52,399. As many as 621 slum localities have 1,08,400 illegal sewer connections.

Stormwater in the zones of Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiru.Vi.Ka Nagar, Anna Nagar, Teynampet, Ambattur, Kodambakkam, Alandur, Valasaravakkam and Adyar is drained through 836.4 km of drains maintained by theCorporation.

Royapuram zone has the largest number of connections with 11,069 buildings letting sewage into the stormwater drains of the Corporation. In addition to such buildings, 26,200 tenements in 131 slum neighbourhoods in Royapuram also pollute the storm water drains. The numbers of illegal connections in other zones are 11,069 (Tondiarpet), 3,369 (Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar), 2,240 (Anna Nagar), 4,478 (Teynampet), 5,050 (Kodambakkam), 125 (Valasaravakkam), 4903 (Alandur) and 6,752 (Adyar).

As many as 26,200 slum households in Tondiarpet, 9,400 in Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar, 15,600 in Anna Nagar, 24,000 in Teynampet, 9,200 in Kodambakkam and 12,800 in Adyar have also been identified with illegal sewer connections. The zonal officials in such zones have been asked to persuade the residents to disconnect their illegal sewer connections. The civic body has also asked Chennai Metrowater to provide proper sewer connections for such buildings.

But the Corporation is unable to take steps to disconnect illegal sewer connections in slum tenements that are encroaching on land in the city. The civic body will wait for the resettlement of such residents by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board before taking measures to plug such connections.

Over 12,000 of such households will shift to areas such as Perumbakkam next year. The Corporation has also asked zones with fewer numbers of illegal connections to collect another set of data as the actual numbers are expected to be more than two lakh.

Several years ago, Metrowater, after a similar exercise to identify illegal inlets into the stormwater drains, had introduced a programme asking families below the poverty line to pay a mere Rs. 100 for securing water or sewer connections.

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