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No man's land
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.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 3 hours 55 min ago

Chennai takes the wooded road
seetha@indiawat...  posted 2 days 2 hours ago

Changing coast affects livelihood
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.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 1 week 4 days ago

Storm after a lull
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.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 1 month 4 days ago

For a flood-free Chennai
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 canal along the coast.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 1 month 1 week ago

Remembering Amma’s generosity
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 did not seem to mind, given that many of their basic needs stood satisfied to a great extent.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 1 month 1 week ago

World Toilet Day: Beyond BCC
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.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 2 months 18 hours ago

A city pond of its Aayi
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 no other.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 2 months 1 week ago

Reviving pond naturally
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.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Keeping beach body in shape
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 densely-populated coast.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 2 months 4 weeks ago

Who cares for a canal?
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 brackish water-navigation channel in the early 1800s, connecting the north of Madras with Ennore.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 3 months 6 days ago

Champions of cleanliness
“Like 'Satyagraha' freed the country from colonialism, 'Swachhagraha' would free the country from dirt” – Prime Minister Narendra Modi
seetha@indiawat...  posted 3 months 2 weeks ago

Farmers think tanks, fight to save water
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. 
seetha@indiawat...  posted 3 months 3 weeks ago

Who gives a sh*t?
“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 'Singara (beautiful) Chennai',” recounts Ravanaiah.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 4 months 7 hours ago

Accept refuse: A lesson in wastewater management
The demand, supply, availability and access of water resources do not always match. Going by the UN estimates, by the year 2050, India will be supporting a population of 300 million.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 4 months 2 weeks ago

Water at a click: Pictures to tell the story
A picture is worth a thousand words, but more often than not, insightful pieces of art and photography find themselves confined to affluent salons and galleries. While employing art and photography to address social issues is common in the West, the concept of public art is still in its incipient stages here in India.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 5 months 1 week ago

Bio-loos on track, Railways to clean up its act
For almost two decades, the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act of 1993 was a paralytic occupant of the statute books. The Act prohibited the construction of dry toilets which required faeces to be removed manually and outlawed manual scavenging.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 5 months 2 weeks ago

Run-up to the photo biennale
When - August, 4, 2016 between 6PM and 8PM Where - Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Chennai; No. 4, Rutland Gate, 5th Street, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600 006 About PondyPHOTO
seetha@indiawat...  posted 5 months 2 weeks ago

App way to track toilet demand
As part of its efforts to promote rural sanitation, the government, under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), promises a subsidy of Rs 12,000 for the construction of individual household toilets. Households that fall in the below poverty line (BPL) category and select households such as those belonging to SCs/STs and the ones headed by women can avail of this subsidy amount.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 6 months 4 hours ago

Understanding sanitation
It is a fact that constructing toilets alone cannot ensure total sanitation. The real challenge lies in getting people to use them. While treating fecal sludge and disposing it are largely urban concerns, modifying behaviour and motivating people to abandon open defecation are considered rural sanitation challenges.
seetha@indiawat...  posted 6 months 2 weeks ago