The vanishing waterbodies of Chennai

The area of the waterbodies in Chennai city and its suburbs has shrunk from nearly 12.6 sq. km. in 1893 to about 3.2 sq. km. in 2017, mainly due to urbanisation, a recent study has revealed

Names of places in Chennai are more than just geographical markers. They bring out what Chennai was not too long ago. Lake Area, Tank Bund Road and Eri Scheme are a few pointers that tell us how bountiful the city was in water resources.

Even as recently as in the 1950s, you could drive down Mount Road from Saidapet to Teynampet through what became CIT Nagar, bank left near where Gemini Flyover stands now, hop on to Tank Bund Road and continue motoring along, never too far away from water.

Cut to 2018: Chennai is all built-up and the names of places are just fluid reminders of the past.

It’s almost summer and the anxiety of Chennaiites is mounting. Despite official assurances, they are worried about how the supply of water will pan out. Today, motoring across roads means conducting tricky negotiations with water tankers that dominate not just our streets but other types of water supply too.

As the global community commemorated World Water Day recently as a reminder to use nature to overcome challenges and discussed the approaching ‘Day Zero’ in Cape Town, which is caught in the throes of a severe drought, Chennaiites recognise that their city is also part of the rather dismal scene. Rapid and unplanned urbanisation has systematically destroyed waterbodies, which act as sponges and help mitigate floods.....Read more


Source web page:The Hindu

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