To rid the city of illegal sewer connections in stormwater drains, the Chennai Corporation is set to launch a drive to screen all 1.5 lakh commercial establishments across the city.

Those found to be polluting stormwater drains by letting in sewage will be penalised.

A number of hotels including luxury hotels have allegedly been polluting stormwater drains through illegal sewer connections. Such establishments could be in trouble this week.

On Wednesday, the Corporation Council is likely to pass a resolution directing zonal officers to screen all commercial establishments in the city. Those units letting sewage into stormwater drains will have their trade licences cancelled by the civic body.

However, residents who have illegal sewer connections will not be regulated in the first phase of the drive.

Of the 11 lakh property tax assessees in the 15 zones of the city, 1.5 lakh properties are classified as commercial. The Corporation, however, has issued only around 25,000 trade licences. The drive therefore, is expected to only cover business units that come under the trade licence net. Other commercial establishments will have to be regulated by invoking the Public Health Act or the Chennai Metrowater Supply and Sewerage Board Act, an official said.

In January this year, the council took a major step towards streamlining the system to issue trade licences. The number of licensed trades under the old city limits was 194. Trades such as furniture, plastic work, electrical goods, fruit stalls, pickles, bakeries and tea stalls were among those included in the original list of the old Corporation limits.

The new proposal covers 575 trades including flower shops, book binding, animal skin processing, hair processing, pizza, pollution control equipment, computer stationery and Thanjavur plates. All such shops will be under the scanner.

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