Seetha Gopalakrishnan

  • One of the shortest rivers to drain into the Bay of Bengal, the Cooum is now a local synonym for an open sewer and is generally considered to be beyond the realms of redemption. When blogger Padmapriya Baskaran, well known for her spiritual travel blog Aalayam Kanden started out on her quest to...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 6 months 4 days agoread more
  • Once home to over 400 water bodies, Chennai’s development story is similar to most metropolises across India. Urbanising at a hurried pace, the concrete city spilled over its waterways and wetlands, leaving behind a sorry tale of ecological destruction. The Narayanapuram wetland, part of the massi...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 7 months 3 days agoread more
  • Population growth estimates suggest that India will be supporting over 1.5 billion inhabitants by 2050 if the present growth rate of 1.9 percent per year continues. From 710 billion cubic metres (BCM) in 2010, the demand for water is expected to surge ahead to 1180 BCM in 2050 as the Planning Commis...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 7 months 1 week agoread more
  • Along the east coast of India, five massive wetlands--starting from Point Calimere (Kodiakarai) and Pulicat in Tamil Nadu, the Krishna-Godavari basin in Andhra, Chilika in Odisha and Sundarbans in West Bengal--provide the necessary moisture for monsoon winds to precipitate. While it may be diff...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 7 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • That Tamil Nadu qualifies to be dubbed as a land of climate paradoxes is beyond debate. The massive flood of 2015 was quickly followed by a punishing drought in 2016. Though the state benefited marginally from the south-west monsoon, as is usually the case, the biggest let down was the manner in whi...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 8 months 1 week agoread more
  • Disaster struck two nautical miles off Ennore’s Kamarajar port just before dawn on January 28 when two cargo ships--LPG tanker BW Maple bearing the flag of the UK’s Isle of Man and MT Dawn Kanchipuram loaded to the brim with petroleum oil and lubricants--collided due to poor inter-vessel communi...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 8 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • From its rather benign origins connoting a type of land classification, the term poromboke has transformed into something grotesque over the years. This term had been in use since the Cholas denoting stretches of land reserved for shared communal use which cannot be bought or sold. Tamils, who pride...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 9 months 3 days agoread more
  •   Literary works from the Sangam period dating back to the fourth century BC indicate the presence of a five-fold classification system of geography and related ecosystems. The five types include kurinji (mountainous region), mullai (forests), marudam (croplands), neithal (seashore) and palai ...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 9 months 5 days agoread more
  • Going by the statistics from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Tamil Nadu’s coastline is densely populated with 573 fishing villages along 13 coastal districts. The story is slightly different around the urban and peri-urban coastline, thanks to the ongoing gentrification of the coa...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 9 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Chennai’s disastrous December run continues for the second year in a row. While the devastating flood of December 2015 remains etched in the city’s collective memory, cyclone Vardah was no less scary and did not lag behind in its severity. The last time Chennai found itself in the eye of a stor...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 10 months 1 week agoread more
  • Chennai’s drainage system--both natural and man-made--is unparalleled. Three rivers flow through the city--the Kosasthalaiyar to the north, the Cooum cutting right through the centre and the Adyar to the south; around 16 major drains criss-cross the metro in addition to the mammoth Buckingham cana...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 10 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • One of Tamil Nadu’s most populist leaders and a big inspiration to women across the state and beyond, J. Jayalalithaa has left an indelible mark on the people as well as the politics of the state. Though detractors objected to the ‘Amma’ prefix in most of her schemes, the people of Tamil Nadu ...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 10 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The Swachh Bharat (Gramin) website reports an increase in the total percentage of household toilet constructed from 42.02 percent in 2014 to 56.85 percent as on November 15, 2016. The number of open defecation free villages have also increased from 50,168 in 2015-16 to 1,17,242 villages. From just s...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 11 months 3 days agoread more
  • Muthirapalayam has figured prominently in Pondicherry’s water supply map for a couple of centuries, dominating especially during the French regime. Though the burgeoning population has necessitated the commissioning of alternate supply routes and source wells, the story of Muthirapalayam is like n...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 11 months 1 week agoread more
  • For hundreds of years, tanks, both big and small, served people and cattle alike in Tamil Nadu. Chennai’s neighbouring district of Kancheepuram was the the wealthiest when it came to water through these means. The Chola and Pallava kings, along with various other major and minor royal houses of th...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Life without sandy beaches is hard to imagine for artisanal fishermen. Beaches serve as boat-landing sites, net-repair yards, as spots to sort and dry fish, all at once. Increased erosion and the resultant loss of beaches essentially means loss of traditional livelihoods, all across the country’s ...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 12 months 2 days agoread more
  • Long-time Kottur resident Narayanan’s earliest memories of the Buckingham canal are those of the famed salt and timber-laden wooden catamarans of the 1950s and the 60s. A namesake of the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, the erstwhile governor of Madras, the canal was initially constructed as a brac...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 1 year 4 days agoread more
  • “Like 'Satyagraha' freed the country from colonialism, 'Swachhagraha' would free the country from dirt” – Prime Minister Narendra Modi With the current National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime in its third year in office, one of its most ambitious projects, the Swachh Bharat Mission, com...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • The union territory (UT) Of Puducherry is, for the most part, enveloped on three sides by the state of Tamil Nadu with the Bay of Bengal framing its eastern face. A total of 84 irrigation tanks--part of the Gingee and Pennaiyar river systems--dot the territory’s landscape.  Recently, the Pud...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • “My mother used to head out with a basket full of ash every day. She would visit dry latrines in the area one by one, sprinkle the ash on the night soil, scoop it up and carry the excreta-filled basket on her head to dump the contents into a small tanker. This was almost 40 years back in our 'Sing...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 1 year 4 weeks agoread more

Pages

A group of heritage enthusiasts trail the Cooum to come up with astounding details of a holy river that has become a sewage carrier.

One of the shortest rivers to drain into the Bay of Bengal, the Cooum is now a local synonym for an open sewer and is generally considered to be beyond the realms of redemption. When blogger Padmapriya Baskaran, well known for her spiritual travel blog Aalayam Kanden started out on her quest to map historic temples along the river Cooum, little did she know about the treasure trove of information that lay scattered along its banks.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

The revival of Narayanapuram wetland is a fitting example that good things can come out of government’s willingness to associate with independent organisations for the betterment of the society.

Once home to over 400 water bodies, Chennai’s development story is similar to most metropolises across India. Urbanising at a hurried pace, the concrete city spilled over its waterways and wetlands, leaving behind a sorry tale of ecological destruction. The Narayanapuram wetland, part of the massive Pallikaranai marshland, which was recently taken up for restoration, shows that not all hope is lost; not yet, at least.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Desalination is considered a solution to increasing water shortage in the world. A few functional desalination plants in Tamil Nadu, however, show a different picture.

Population growth estimates suggest that India will be supporting over 1.5 billion inhabitants by 2050 if the present growth rate of 1.9 percent per year continues. From 710 billion cubic metres (BCM) in 2010, the demand for water is expected to surge ahead to 1180 BCM in 2050 as the Planning Commission has predicted a 2.5-time increase in domestic and industrial consumption. 

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Keeping Pulicat lagoon healthy is paramount to the health of the Chennai’s ecosystem. What is happening instead is its slow degradation.

Along the east coast of India, five massive wetlands--starting from Point Calimere (Kodiakarai) and Pulicat in Tamil Nadu, the Krishna-Godavari basin in Andhra, Chilika in Odisha and Sundarbans in West Bengal--provide the necessary moisture for monsoon winds to precipitate. While it may be difficult to comprehend the intricacies of how monsoons work, one thing is clear--these wetlands need to remain wet for rain clouds to emerge and develop. And Pulicat is an integral part of this system.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Tamil Nadu continues to witness cycles of flood and drought annually. Mismanagement of traditional water management systems is one of the main reasons.

That Tamil Nadu qualifies to be dubbed as a land of climate paradoxes is beyond debate. The massive flood of 2015 was quickly followed by a punishing drought in 2016. Though the state benefited marginally from the south-west monsoon, as is usually the case, the biggest let down was the manner in which the more dominant north-east monsoon had panned out. Tamil Nadu wound up with a paltry 168.3 mm of rainfall during the north-east monsoon season as against the normal 440.4 mm, leaving the state with an overall deficit of close to 62 percent of the long-term expected average precipitation.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Lack of preparedness by government authorities in dealing with the massive oil spill on the Chennai coast has transformed it into one of the worst crises on the coast.

Disaster struck two nautical miles off Ennore’s Kamarajar port just before dawn on January 28 when two cargo ships--LPG tanker BW Maple bearing the flag of the UK’s Isle of Man and MT Dawn Kanchipuram loaded to the brim with petroleum oil and lubricants--collided due to poor inter-vessel communication. The LPG tanker, on its way out of the port, suffered a major dent. The incoming Dawn Kanchipuram was left with two holes that tore through it.

Attachments

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

The state of the poromboke lands in Chennai signifies the deteriorating nature of its ecology. Saving them is important not just to preserve a tradition but also to safeguard growing urban spaces.

From its rather benign origins connoting a type of land classification, the term poromboke has transformed into something grotesque over the years. This term had been in use since the Cholas denoting stretches of land reserved for shared communal use which cannot be bought or sold. Tamils, who prided themselves on the richness of their culture assigned a special place for such poromboke lands which helped preserve the region’s ecological balance. Today, poromboke, however, is a mild cuss word for worthlessness and incompetence.

Attachments

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Better green cover could be a way to reduce the extent of disaster a Vardah could bring. Here’s a lowdown on the trees that Chennai must have.

 

Literary works from the Sangam period dating back to the fourth century BC indicate the presence of a five-fold classification system of geography and related ecosystems. The five types include kurinji (mountainous region), mullai (forests), marudam (croplands), neithal (seashore) and palai (desert landscape). And, the coastal city of Chennai fits snugly in the neithal landscape.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

While sundry development and infrastructure projects beautify the Chennai coastline, fishermen are left to fend for themselves.

Going by the statistics from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Tamil Nadu’s coastline is densely populated with 573 fishing villages along 13 coastal districts. The story is slightly different around the urban and peri-urban coastline, thanks to the ongoing gentrification of the coastline in most parts of urban India. Traditional fishing hamlets are slowly giving way to plush beachfront properties. Spaces frequented by fishers are often viewed as “eyesores” on pristine beach stretches.

Attachments

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

After a brief interval, the north-east monsoon made its presence felt through the cyclonic storm Vardah, terrorising both coastal Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Chennai’s disastrous December run continues for the second year in a row. While the devastating flood of December 2015 remains etched in the city’s collective memory, cyclone Vardah was no less scary and did not lag behind in its severity.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Seetha Gopalakrishnan