Residents raise concern over Tambaram Corporation’s decision to levy water charges for every consumer at apartment complexes

They want the civic body to clarify how the individually payable amounts were calculated. They say piped water supply is provided once in three days and demand its quantum and frequency be increased

Published - July 11, 2024 09:05 pm IST - CHENNAI

Since the Tambaram Municipal Corporation was formed in 2021, various measures had been taken to boost water supply, including tapping into the Palar and drawing water collected in abandoned quarries.

Since the Tambaram Municipal Corporation was formed in 2021, various measures had been taken to boost water supply, including tapping into the Palar and drawing water collected in abandoned quarries. | Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ

Residents in areas falling under the Tambaram Municipal Corporation have raised concern over the civic body’s decision to collect water charges from individual consumers at apartment complexes. They sought transparency in the levy of charges and issue of demand notices.

Residents noted that they recently received text messages asking them to pay about ?600 as water charges for the next half-year starting from September. Babu Venkataraman, secretary of an apartment complex on R.P. Road, Chromepet, said this came as a surprise to them as the civic body earlier collected charges based on the number of connections provided to an apartment complex, paid for by the association.

“The civic body must improve the quantum of water supply and frequency of supply hours. They must provide additional water connections to apartments. We manage the shortfall with groundwater drawn from borewells,” he said.

Residents added that piped water supply was provided once in three days, and the Municipal Corporation should clarify how the amount payable by an individual consumer was calculated.

V.S. Jayaraman of the T. Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association, said the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board had also revised its water charges from ?84 to ?89 per month without prior notice. Though the hike was marginal, residents should have been informed about it through various modes instead of only by a delayed announcement on the website. Residents both in the city and suburbs must be provided with adequate water supply, he added.

A senior official of the Tambaram Municipal Corporation said three modes to notify residents of charges had been implemented — pamphlets, text messages, and demand notices. With the fine tuning of the civic body’s online mechanism and minimising human intervention, the system of revenue officials for tax collection has been discontinued. Now, nearly 46% of the revenue is remitted online. Individual demand notices would also be issued for collecting tax for the half-yearly period, he added.

Since the Tambaram Municipal Corporation was formed in 2021, various measures had been taken to boost water supply, including tapping into the Palar, drawing water collected in abandoned quarries, and sinking borewells. In the last year, steps were taken to provide piped water once in three days. The schedule was also uploaded on the official website, the senior official said.

Responding to residents’ concern, officials of the Metrowater said the hike was part of the annual 5% revision in water and sewerage charges for residential buildings, which had been implemented since last year.

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