Thousands of such connections identified; offenders will be fined and their premises sealed
As many as 1,323 illegal sewer connections that pollute waterways have been reported from the seven zones within the old city limits.
This is roughly one per cent of the total number of such connections, which the Chennai Corporation expects to have on record in a month. Sewage from these lines makes it to the waterways directly — or indirectly, through stormwater drains.
The identification drive, which began on Monday, brings under the scanner commercial and residential establishments suspected to cause such pollution.
At 320, Teynampet tops the list of zones with illegal sewer connections. At 55, Kodambakkam has reported the lowest number of such connections.
The picture may be different when all the 107 wards in the seven zones are through with the identification exercise. Last week, the Corporation commissioner sent a circular to these zones asking them to commence a ward-level survey of illegal sewer connections. Following this, junior engineers and assistant engineers were assigned this task.
“Most of the sewage in our ward flows through stormwater drains. Existing sewage pumping station capacity is low. Work is under way in areas such as Valluvar Kottam. A new pumping station has been proposed on Sterling Road. The officials should focus more on commercial establishments,” said K. Chandrasekaran, a councillor in Nungambakkam.
At a recent meeting, the civic body handed over the available list to Metrowater which has begun the work of providing sewer connections to these buildings after collecting the required fee.
Failure to cooperate with Metrowater will cost commercial establishments their trade licences.
After plugging the illegal sewer connections, officials will seal the premises of these buildings and impose the existing fine of Rs. 500 on the owners. With this amount too measly to act as a deterrent, the Chennai Corporation has requested the State government to increase it to Rs. 10,000.
The State government is expected to spend Rs. 10,000 crore over a period of 10 years to clean the Adyar, Cooum and Buckingham Canal. The rehabilitation programme will include creation of a sewage treatment system that will prevent sewage from ending up in the waterways.
Slums along waterways to be relocated
At least 12,000 of the families are expected to be resettled in Perumbakkam and Okkiyam-Thoraipakkam, where over 12,000 houses measuring over 400 sq. ft. will be completed in a month.
“We have given a list of 3,000 encroachments on micro drains to the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board,” said an official of the Chennai Corporation. Resettlement is likely to begin in December. The resettlement may bother students who are studying in schools in the city.
Reconstruction of over 2,500 tenements in areas such as Ayodhya Kuppam, Lock Nagar, Parthasarathy Nagar and Kotturpuram is also expected to affect students whose families may be displaced.