In a bid to solve problems of sewage block in the city, Chennai Metrowater is gearing up to identify small eateries that are yet to construct diaphragm chambers for filtering solid waste. Those who continue to remain without the facility after the two-week notice period would have to suffer water and sewer disconnection.

This follows the Chennai Corporation’s drive to seal hotels and small eateries that did not have diaphragm chamber. A senior Corporation official said there are nearly 400 restaurants and hotels in the city.

The civic body has sealed 38 such eateries for causing sewage block in the past one week under the Public Health Act. “We will continue to check the other places in the next 15 days and take action wherever necessary,” the official added.

Metrowater has already identified 2,056 commercial buildings to install such chambers. Of this, 1,863 buildings now have the facility. An official said it was later found that 175 of them do not need the facility. “We have so far disconnected water and sewer connections of six commercial establishments in Tondiarpet and Adyar, Taramani zone, for not adhering to the mandate.”

The water agency has also made the provision of diaphragm chambers mandatory to obtain new connections. The 14-member special committee formed by the Madras High Court, which has met twice in the past two months, has decided that two sub-committees would be set up to create awareness about better maintenance of sewerage system and put forth suggestions to prevent throwing solid waste into sewer lines. A manual would also be prepared for the maintenance of the sewerage network.

In large residential complexes, sewer gratings have been made compulsory. So far, gratings have been fixed in 390 identified buildings, the official said.

Despite the measures taken by the water agency, some people residing near the commercial establishments continue to grapple with the problem of sewer overflow. B. Mary, a resident of Marshalls Road, Egmore, said: “Whenever sewer obstructions occur in the neighbouring hotel in the absence of diaphragm chamber, my apartment complex bears the brunt as the premises are flooded with overflowing sewage from the next building.”

Though several representations have been made, the residents have had to endure the problem for over a year now.

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