GENRE: Solutions

Every year, Chennai experiences severe flooding, with cars being washed away, homes submerged, and residents navigating waterlogged streets. One of the affected areas is Chitlapakkam, situated amidst three lakes — Chitlapakkam, Seliyur, and Rajakilpakkam — on Chengalpettu's agricultural lands. Due to its proximity to these water bodies, Chitlapakkam suffers extensive flooding during Chennai's intense monsoon. We at Chitlapakkam Rising, along with the Water Resources Department (WRD) and Tambaram Corporation have worked on flood mitigation measures such as the construction of  ‘macro cut-and-cover drains’ around the lake, to drain out surplus water during floods. We even initiated the construction of a…

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A survey conducted in 2021 by Project Mumbai, a non-governmental organisation, and Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic collective in conjunction with MCGM found that there is only 1.24 sqm of open space per person in Mumbai. But, the draft Development Plan 2034, which aims to shape the growth of Mumbai over 20 years, earmarks 2 sqm per person. Public space is a precious resource in the urban realm. According to research conducted by UN-Habitat, well-managed cities have 50% of their area allotted for open spaces — a pipe dream for Mumbai. An environment that fosters recreation, rest and community bonding is hardly…

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Ottupattarai, once marred by the unsightly accumulation of waste in the picturesque hill town of Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, has undergone a remarkable transformation. This was possible through the dedicated efforts of Clean Coonoor, a city-based NGO. Nestled in the highest part of Coonoor, amidst the tea gardens of the Nilgiris, the waste dumping site in Ottupattarai has metamorphosed into a thriving garden that serves as a community space for residents. The makeover journey began in 2014 when 15 dedicated volunteers established Clean Coonoor to initiate sustainable waste management practices in the town. Beginnings of a journey In 2019, Clean…

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If you have travelled on the new Airport Road to or from Bengaluru, you would see the quarried hill in Bettahalasur, a village near the outskirts of the city that looms large on the westward horizon. Abutting this quarry is the old village of Hunasamaranahalli, now part of Bengaluru’s peri-urban area. In a narrow lane in Hunasamaranahalli, there is an open well. This is its story. At a time of an acute water crisis, this story holds many lessons for us in Bengaluru. From quarry to community: The story of an open well A couple of years ago, Hunsmaranahalli and…

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Valmiki Nagar is a compact and beautiful residential colony in Thiruvanmiyur, comprising four Seaward Roads that run East-West and Balakrishnan Road running North-South that bisects them. The quality of the roads in Valmiki Nagar, re-laid over 10 years ago, has deteriorated over the years, with large patches of exposed areas, loose stones and so on. The volunteers (me being one of them) of the Valmiki Nagar Residents Association took up the request for relaying of roads with the councillor of Ward 180 and Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) Assistant Engineer (AE). Here is how the road laying went — Pre-approval phase…

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Over the years, the Kharghar Hills in Navi Mumbai, have seen many forest fires. According to the Kharghar Fire Station records, between 1st January 2022 and 11th September 2023, totally 164 calls were received relating to fire. Forest fires usually occur after the monsoon season, once the grass starts drying up. Interestingly, Navi Mumbai and the areas nearby are less likely to be affected by natural forest fires, as the temperature in the area does not increase too much.   Many of these fires are man-made, as are 90% of all forest fires. In Kharghar, the hills are characterised by…

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Apartments in Bengaluru, especially in the peripheral areas such as Mahadevapura and Bengaluru North, which are dependent on groundwater or tanker water, are being compelled to take some drastic measures of water rationing. But even amidst these dire situations. there are implementable solutions. Here is an example of an apartment that took strong measures to conserve water, despite being serviced by BWSSB: Floriana Estates Apartment, a 19-year-old building in Koramangala, recognised the importance of water conservation as a social responsibility and for sustainability. The Managing Committee (MC) of Floriana Estates took several initiatives, including raising awareness, addressing water wastage, fixing…

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"I found it challenging to adhere to the doctors' instructions due to the constant rotation of different doctors during each visit. It led to confusion in managing my hyperactive daughter, who tends to become angry quickly," said Kavita Shinde, a resident of Dahisar in Mumbai. Kavita's 8-year-old daughter Hansika has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has visited B.Y.L Nair Hospital, Mumbai Central in Mumbai for treatment for the past three years.  Kavita was relieved after she moved to the recently established Early Intervention and Rehabilitation Centre for Children at Byculla. She has been consistently meeting the…

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Six months ago, the Tambaram City Municipal Corporation carried out work on East Main Road and West Main Road in  Sri Prashanthi Colony, Madambakkam. In the past ten years, these roads were re-laid three times and each time, their heights increased considerably. The new roads came as a relief for residents only until the onset of the Northeast monsoon in 2023.  As the interior roads including the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cross streets of Sri Prashanthi Colony have not been re-laid, excess water runs down to these roads which now lie at a lower level compared to  the main roads.…

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Iblur Junction lies at the T-junction of two major roads, Outer Ring Road (ORR) and Sarjapura Road in the IT corridor of south-east Bengaluru. It is a major road intersection, which serves as the gateway to the IT corridor, and lies in close proximity to many important locations in all directions. However, traffic woes at Iblur Junction are a daily experience. The junction witnesses major traffic congestion, leading bumper-to-bumper traffic.  Caught in the midst of this chaos is the hapless pedestrian, risking life and limb to cross the road and commute daily. Immediate attention from the authorities is required for…

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