Chennai Metrowater is mulling over a service to provide sewer connections at a mere phone call and raise the bill later. If the service is launched, it will reduce hassles faced by residents in availing a connection.
Describing it as a public health approach, Metrowater expects to minimise pollution caused due to sewage overflow on to the roads or release of raw sewage into city waterways. Sources in the Metrowater said there would be a shift from a procedure-centric to a citizen-centric approach.
Residents would have to contact the Metrowater helpline — 45674567 — to avail a sewer connection. They would be required to pay charges only after the connection is effected in a few days, officials said. Moreover, there are plans to provide an option to pay the charges in instalments once the bill is generated.
V. Rajagopal, a resident of Officers’ Colony, Mogappair, said if the service is launched, it would bring much relief to residents who have to struggle for a few months to get connections. “We have to visit at least three offices, including Corporation office, to apply and get a connection. It takes a minimum of one month and lot of follow up with officials to avail a connection. Much time is lost during the process,” he said.
Residents of Ambattur said just like road cut charges, Metrowater may include installation or other charges in the bill and ensure residents are spared of additional charges.
At present, nearly 10,000 connections are added in the network every year. Metrowater is now serving nearly eight lakh consumers and two lakh more consumers would be added once the schemes are completed.
Metrowater officials said the idea was to ensure safe disposal of sewage whether it was approved or unapproved layout. However, having a sewer connection would not mean authentication of legal existence.
Metrowater would also provide that last mile connectivity in water and sewer network in added areas. Whenever a comprehensive water supply and underground drainage project is completed in an area, the water and sewer connections would be provided to consumers at doorstep instead of asking them to apply for house service connections. According to a government directive, it was noticed that residents were not showing interest due to financial constraints.