Chennai is expanding at a dizzying pace. The number of residential units being built in the city is escalating every year, and so is the demand for water. The fact that more than 1800 new applications reach the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB)’s head office every month, points to the magnitude of the demand. However, a majority of the applicants, and indeed most citizens, are often confused or oblivious of the procedure to be followed and the documents to be furnished for a quick resolution of their application. As a result, most of them end up making more than one trip to the office, said the spokesperson of Metro Water Department.
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Here are some questions frequently asked by citizens looking to apply for a Metro Water connection.
What are the necessary documents and certificates to be submitted?
Building plan and completion certificates (with a notary’s seal) and proof of payment of property tax and infrastructure development charges. A surety bond, attached on a stamp paper of Rs 20, with the above mentioned documents should be submitted to the Executive Engineer at Metro Water’s headquarters located at No 1, Pumping Station Road, Chintadripet, Chennai – 600 001
What exactly does the building plan include?
For residential units exceeding 500 square feet, the plan should have the drawings showing internal plumbing work and connection to public water/sewer main with length, nature of road portion such as mud/platform/tar bitumen/Water Bound Macadum (road surface with gravel and crushed stone) etc., signed by the owner/applicant, as mentioned in the CMWSSB website. If the building is smaller than 500 sq ft, a statement of the built up area (exact area with the plan), signed by the applicant would suffice.
How do I figure out the nodal agency to get the building plan and completion certificates?
Building plans are sanctioned, depending on the location and size, by the Greater Chennai Corporation, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) or local bodies.
Ordinary residential buildings or commercial buildings up to 9 metres in height [Ground floor + First floor (or) Stilt + 2 floors – dwelling unit not exceeding 6 kitchen units and commercial area not exceeding 300 sq.m floor area], industrial buildings and institutional buildings up to a height of 15.25 meters are to be sanctioned by the Chennai Corporation. Check for the approval process here.
If your residential/commercial unit fulfils the above mentioned criteria but is situated outside corporation limits, the local body — the Municipality, town panchayat or village panchayat, as the case may be — will be the sanctioning body.
If the residential/ commercial unit in Chennai Metropolitan limits exceeds 9 metres in height and exceeds six kitchen units, CMDA is the nodal agency to sanction the building plan.
I pay property tax regularly. Do I still have to pay infrastructure development charges?
As part of infrastructure development, consumers should pay for the new pipelines laid for the houses (for water connection) and works carried out by the department. The charges depend on the amount of work done, and is different from the property tax collected by Chennai Corporation, which includes tax for the overall property.
For independent houses less than 500 square km in area, the Metro Water department charges no infrastructure development charges. However, if more residential units are involved, the charges are calculated by the head office of Metro Water department, based on many factors.
How much do I have to pay for the new water connection?
After submitting the documents to the executive engineer, payment of Rs 7,500 (for one unit) is to be made at the counter situated in the ground floor of the head office. Remember to receive the acknowledgment.
When would I get the water connection?
Sanction orders for the water connection will be issued within 7 days from the date of registration of application. The Area Engineer (AE) in your locality will issue the sanction orders. You will get connection within 30 days from the date of registration. The officials will also fix a water meter to the pipeline in your premises, to ascertain the quantity of water supplied and calculate the charges. A metrowater card, valid for five years will be issued to the applicant after receiving the connection. Entries will be made in the card for water supply charges as soon as water connection is provided. Subsequent payments can all be made online, yet the card continues to be issued for the first time.
What are the monthly charges for availing Metro Water?
Monthly payment of Metro Water charges vary from core areas and extended areas of Chennai Corporation. While core areas are charged Rs 50 per month, areas that were incorporated in the Corporation limits (including Ullagaram – Puzhithivakkam, Ambattur, Alandur, Madhavaram, Meenambakkam) in 2011 may have to pay up to Rs 80 per month. The difference is because the Metro Water department laid pipes in the core areas decades ago.
The material cost and wages have increased multifold since then and hence the additional charge for the extended areas.
Is there a separate annual water tax to be paid to Metro Water Department?
No. Water and Sewerage tax is included in the property tax that needs to be paid to the Chennai Corporation. According to the Metro Water department, seven per cent of annual rental value (fixed by Chennai Corporation) is the water and sewerage tax per annum.
Whom do I contact for complaints and redressal?
Area Engineer of the Board should be contacted in case of issues regarding defective meters. In case the name of the assessee needs to be changed, the request is to be sent to the senior accounts executive, with a copy of name change order issued by Chennai Corporation.
Zone wise contacts of the AEs of metro water department are listed here.