Chennai Metrowater will enhance the capacity of the sewage pumping stations by December-end as part of its measures to reduce recurring complaints of sewage blocks.

In the first phase, it proposes to install additional motors at 15 sewage pumping stations across the city. All the 185 pumping stations would also be operated in the night.

This was announced by Rajesh Lakhoni, Managing Director of Chennai Metrowater, at a coordination meeting of Chennai Corporation and the water agency on Wednesday to discuss strategies to tackle monsoon related problems.

On the complaints made by zonal chairmen of the civic body about sewage blocks and water contamination, officials of Metrowater said desilting of sewer pipeline and use of equipment in three shifts are under way. As part of the plans to improve the sewer network, at an estimated cost of Rs.42 crore, a detailed project report is being prepared.

The project would include increasing the capacity of pumping stations, provision of additional motors and replacing pipeline to meet the growing demand of the city. Additional motors would be provided at various pumping stations, including those in Tondiarpet, Royapuram and Velachery. Mini pumping stations would be set up in many places, including Ayanavaram and Seven Wells.

Mr.Lakhoni said the water agency is in the process of identifying works such as raising manhole level and replacing damaged manholes, in slums. Details on the new water and sewerage connections would be shared with Corporation to facilitate property tax assessment.

Chairmen of the 10 zones of Chennai Corporation complained about the inadequate capacity of the pumping stations and demanded change of old pipelines to carry the additional load of sewage. Problems recur in zones 1 (Tondiarpet), 3 (Pulianthope), 8 (Kodambakkam) and 10 (Adyar).

Opposition floor leader in the Corporation Council Saidai Ravi said contractors do not operate pumping stations in the night. Mini pumping stations must be established in slum areas from where a major share of sewage related complaints is reported.

Zonal chairmen and all party leaders pointed out that a few pockets, including in Aminjikarai and Adyar, in the city do not have water connections for several years now.

Mayor M.Subramanian said it has been decided that all Metrowater junior engineers would take part in the ward level meetings. The water agency must expedite works being carried out on RK Mutt Road, North Boag Road and Anna Main Road, K.K.Nagar.

Corporation Commissioner D.Karthikeyan said a decision on permitting road cuts for short distances would be taken to facilitate provision of water and sewer connection in several localities.

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