From November 9-December 1, 2015, Chennai city and its outlying areas, which are part of Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur districts received continuous and very heavy rain. The city was flooded at least three times, with the last flood, caused by non-stop rain on December 1, and the consequent opening of the Chembarambakkam Eri (tank) as well as various other Eris on the outlying areas causing enormous damage and devastation. Even as relief workers acknowledged the quantum of losses suffered by various sections of the population, they had to also engage with the question of responsibility: who was to compensate such losses, and for what reasons. It was in this context that a group of concerned relief workers and citizens came together to undertake a sample survey of losses sustained by the city's laboring population; and also on a more modest level, undertake a survey of losses amongst the lower middle classes and middle classes.
The recent floods in Chennai are a fallout of real estate riding roughshod over the city's waterbodies. Facilitated by an administration that tweaked and modified building rules and urban plans, the real estate boom has consumed the city's lakes, ponds, tanks and large marshlands.
A letter to the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change with a list of suggestions from the members of Alliance of Indian Waste-pickers for additions to the draft SWM Rules with respect to recognition and integration of informal waste-pickers and waste recyclers