Plumbing Charges: Software error doubles plumbing charges in Avadi | Chennai News

Chennai: Muthukrishnan, a pensioner from Vaishnavi Nagar in Thirumullaivoyal, was shocked when he received his property tax notice for 2024-25 from Avadi Corporation. Along with the property tax, he was unexpectedly charged $35,000 for internal plumbing charges. When asked, Avadi Corporation officials explained that this charge was incurred for connecting his house pipe to the main water pipe in the street. They also informed him that the fee had doubled due to a software glitch and he had to pay only $17,500. Muthukrishnan is not alone. Many residents have reported similar problems. “When notices were issued for around 6,000 residential properties, some notices were issued for 35,000. “We received around 20 complaints and we corrected them immediately,” said Sheik Abdur Rahman, Commissioner, Avadi Corporation. The corporation is investigating the cause of the error. Also, residents who paid a deposit of ₹10,000 for water supply when the scheme was introduced in 2008 or during changes of ownership will have to pay only ₹7,500. “Residents will have to show proof of payment to get the deduction as the scheme predates digitisation and we do not have any previous deposit records,” said a Corporation official. Moreover, charges will be suspended for residents of houses who have not received water due to pipe blockages or low pressure. The underground sewerage and drinking water supply projects began in 2008 under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) when Avadi was still a municipality. Residents paid ₹10,000 each for water supply and sewerage connection. Even five years after becoming a Corporation, these projects are yet to be completed. Avadi Corporation prioritises individual water supply connections where work is completed before extending supply to other areas. To provide water to 6,000 households, Avadi Corporation purchases water from CMWSSB.T Sadagopan, a citizen activist from Pattabiram, criticised the expectation that residents keep payment receipts from 16 years ago. “Many doubt the functionality of the old underground network but are willing to pay in anticipation of the long-awaited facilities,” he said.

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