Reclaim Chennai’s waterways, say ‘no’ to floods!

Reclaim Chennai’s waterways, say ‘no’ to floods!

There are close to 3600 water bodies in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram to store and recharge water and channelize excess water into the sea. However, the indiscriminate development of real estate on and along these water bodies and channels in the absence of any regulation has spelt disaster for the city.

Rampant violations of building norms, maladministration in maintenance of our water bodies and the canals connecting them, improper planning and failure to construct new canals in the low lying areas, all contributed to the suffering of lakhs of people last December.

But we must realise that as citizens, we too have failed in our duty of enforcing accountability on the Government and pressurising relevant authorities to do their duty. On June 26, we, at Arappor ( and Magasool ( invite you all to our event “Reclaiming our Waterways” where we shall take a fresh pledge to do our bit as citizens and ensure that the Government takes necessary action to prevent the recurrence of a similar disaster as last year’s.

This is an effort involving hundreds of citizens wherein we take actionable efforts towards reclaiming our water bodies, which is critical both for conserving water as well as preventing floods. After the meet, we aim to come up with a clear actionable policy that the Government needs to work on to achieve that goal in the next two months.


  • Arappor and Magasool will present their research on how Chennai’s water bodies have changed over the years and the preliminary findings regarding reasons behind the flooding of certain areas last December
  • Professor Janakarajan of the Madras Institute of Development Studies will present to enable an overall understanding of the water bodies of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur.
  • A discussion with citizens followed by an actionable survey plan on specific stretches of water bodies and channels

Come and join hands towards this citizen initiative to make our city flood-proof.

Date: 26/6/16, Sunday

Time: 4.30 Pm to 7.30 Pm

Place: Madras School of Social Work (MSSW), Casa Major Road, Egmore

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About Meenakshi Ramesh 31 Articles
Meenakshi Ramesh is involved in civic initiatives in Chennai and anchors the Chennai edition of Citizen Matters. She has also worked with Pratham. She can be reached at

1 Comment

  1. De-silting of tanks and reservoirs will increase their storage capacity. Thereby, both drought and floods will be mitigated. Further, there will be no need for the third de-salination plant at Chennai. The money saved can be better used for de-silting tanks and reservoirs.

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