On the opening day of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation’s campaign against water waste in the city, the civic body cracked the whip, issuing 98 notices to offenders, in addition to 7 challans.
The Chandigarh civic body had announced on Thursday that it would start a challan campaign from today (Friday) to curb water wastage during the summer season. The department said it has formed teams that will check for water wastage from April 15 to June 30, with violators having to pay a fine of 5,000 rupees.
On Friday, following orders from the City Commissioner, Anindita Mitra, at least 18 SDE and JE teams deployed to the city and began checking for misuse of potable water from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
The company later said that on the first day of the campaign itself, their teams found several offenders abusing drinking water in their homes. A fine of Rs 5,000 was imposed on anyone found in violation of the standards.
According to the civic body, as part of the annual campaign – to be held from April 15 to June 30, watering lawns, yards, washing cars and other vehicles using garden hoses will invite a challan with a fine of Rs 5000.
Advisories will also be issued by teams when they find leaking tanks and faucets, broken water meters and leaking water coolers. Persons given formal notice will be asked to have the leaks repaired within two days, failing which they will be fined.
On Friday, most of the offenders were found washing their cars and yards. The teams clicked photos and made videos of the violations as documentary evidence, before sanctioning the offenders.
Commissioner Mitra called on the citizens of Chandigarh to save drinking water and avoid wastage. She said if needed, people can opt for tertiary treated water to water their lawns or wash their vehicles.
Officials said if a person fails to pay the challan amount, the same amount will be added to the resident’s water bill. The teams in charge of the checks are led by a sub-divisional officer, empowered to immediately hand over the challan to the offender.
A senior official said that if someone posts photos of violators washing their cars with hosepipes or watering their laws, their teams can use that evidence and go to the violator and punish him.
A fine will be imposed on local residents if the teams notice overflowing water tanks, water coolers or leaks in the pipes. According to the officials, particular attention would be paid to the northern sectors as the civic body had found that the water consumption in these sectors was high compared to the southern sectors.