Judgment of the National Green Tribunal regarding sewage management in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 15/02/2023

  • 15/02/2023

The Tamil Nadu government was directed by the National Green Tribunal, southern zone, Chennai to publish the new rules and guidelines related to sewage management in newspapers to make the people aware of the same.

The court said that the departments concerned should strictly follow and implement the rules to bring under control the problem of sewage water being illegally disposed of.

The Deputy Secretary to Tamil Nadu government, Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department had filed a report on January 24, 2023 wherein it was stated that the government had constituted a committee to finalise the draft guidelines/regulations for septage management.

In the meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws and the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage (Amendment) Rules, 2022 (Tamil Nadu Act 34 of 2022) has been enacted to amend the laws relating to Municipal Corporations and Municipalities as well as the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Act, 1978 to regulate the collection, transportation and disposal of faecal sludge/septage and matters connected therewith.

The Act 34 of 2022 was brought into force on January, 1, 2023. Further, the government also framed the Tamil Nadu Urban Local Bodies and Chennai Metropolitan Area Septage Management (Regulation) Rules, 2022 which was notified to take effect from January 1, 2023.

In this regard, the Tamil Nadu Government also had issued Septage Management Regulations and Operative Guidelines regarding removal of septage from unsewered areas, regulation of sewage tanker lorries operating in the local bodies, prevention of illegal discharge of sewage thereby protecting the water bodies dated January 2, 2023 in supersession of the earlier guidelines.

"If the departments concerned, namely, the Greater Chennai Corporation, Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department and also the Director of Town Panchayat strictly implement the above guidelines in their respective jurisdiction, the water bodies can be saved from the danger of sewage pollution and the management of sewage and septage water will be under control," the NGT said, February 15, 2023.