In a decision to initiate a stringent punishment against the defaulters, the Water Supply and Sewerage Board of Municipal Corporation (MC), Phagwara, has lodged theft cases against consumers, who have failed to regularise their water supply and sewerage connections before May 31.
Following the directions of the state government to regularise the illegal water supply and sewerage connections, the Phagwara MC has identified about 3,500 such illegal connections, including 500 water and 3,000 sewerage connections in city, who have failed to register their connections so far.
According to the notification passed in April, for regularisation of water and sewerage connections, the government has given an opportunity to the defaulters to get their connections regularised at minimal fee and only one year bill as a penalty till May 31.
"Whosoever, failed to regularise their connections till May 31, will have to pay a water supply and sewerage bill of three years as a penalty," stated in the notification.
However, the department claimed to have regularised about 550 connections, including 200 water supply connections and 350 sewerage connections till May 31.
The registration fee for a domestic connection was fixed at Rs 200 for 125 sq yards, Rs 500 for 125-250 sq yards and Rs 1,000 for 250 sq yards and more area. Similarly, for a commercial connection, the fee is Rs 1,000 for 250 sq yards and Rs 1,500 for area more than 250 sq yards.
While, consumers residing on less than 5 marla (125 sq yards) area were exempted from paying the water and sewerage bills.
Such consumers should get their connections regularised or will be liable to a penalty .It has been learnt that the Phagwara MC was facing huge losses due to illegal water supply and sewerage connections .
Since the consumers without any fear are enjoying free services of water supply and sewerage. Rajinder Singh, sub-divisional officer (SDO) Water Supply and Sewerage Board when contacted said that the department has started sending notices to defaulters to give another chance to get their connections regularized."Even then if the defaulters failed to regularise their connections with the Phagwara MC, will be booked on the charges of theft," he said.