Chennai

Water, sewer connections no longer a pipe dream in added areas

Metrowater is speeding up the process but many residents continue to have concerns over payment, execution

Piped water supply and sewer connections remain a dream for many residents in areas added to Greater Chennai Corporation.

Many merged areas in the south and west that are heavily dependent on private water suppliers will finally have their own network in a few months as Chennai Metrowater has accelerated the process of ensuring supply. But, residents have their own concerns.

The areas that are next in line to get their network include Karapakkam, Sholinganallur, Ullagaram Puzhuthivakkam, Pallikaranai, Kottivakkam, Perungudi and Mugalivakkam. In a bid to speed up the process to cover the added areas with a water supply and sewerage network, Metrowater has sought funds from World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It recently presented its proposals for a city water plan and also identifying water sources to improve supply to merged areas.

Officials of the Metrowater said water supply schemes are undergoing a trial run at Sholinganallur and Karapakkam and sewer infrastructure is ready in both the localities and house service connections would soon be effected.

While the sewage treatment plant of 18 million litres capacity has been commissioned in Sholinganallur, the 54-mld STP in Sholinganallur would also be ready in June and serve many areas, including Semmencheri, Injambakkam, Okkiam Thoraipakkam and Neelankarai, for which a detailed project report is being prepared.

Residents of Sholinganallur noted that they have been waiting for a comprehensive network for a decade after paying deposit and some of the streets have been left out.

Harsha Koda, coordinator of Federation of OMR Residents Association said, “Our Wipro Street is one of the areas that have been left out of the scheme. Instead of waiting for the network, several association members have started recycling sewage and also harnessing rainwater to become self-reliant.”

While it had evoked awareness on water conservation in apartment complexes along OMR, execution of the projects would reduce the burden on expenditure, residents said.

Residents of Ullagaram-Puzhuthivakkam are glad that the pipeline network may soon be functional and have started opting for connections. V. Rajalakshmi, a resident, said consumers in multi-storeyed buildings and gated communities too must be provided the option to pay connection charges in 10 instalments under ‘Azhaithal Inaippu’ scheme.

The absence of a sewerage network in Neelankarai and Semmencheri has led to pollution of waterways, including the south Buckingham Canal.

Ambattur zone

Ambattur is among the areas that has witnessed long delays. Metrowater has taken up work to complete the sewerage project in four packages by June. However, residents note that many are reluctant to avail connections as the charges come to a minimum of ₹15,000, especially for flat owners.

L. Gurunathan of Venkatapuram suggested that Metrowater relax the tariff for consumers in flats measuring 1,000-1,200 sq.ft. in added areas. Officials said about ₹224 crore has been sought to effect 1.11 lakh sewer connections in added areas where infrastructure is ready and mitigate pollution in waterways.

There was a delay in executing the project in Ullagaram-Puzhuthivakkam as properties were not assessed. “We plan to extend dial for sewer connections and pay in instalments schemes to multi-storeyed complexes. If residents have building plan approval, they need not pay further road cut charges,” said an official. Sewerage projects in Edayanchavadi, Sadayankuppam and Kadapakkam would be taken up after 2021, officials added.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 2:09:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/water-sewer-connections-no-longer-a-pipe-dream-in-added-areas/article30756449.ece

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