Chennai Floods: Crowdsourced Citizen Ideas


When Chennai received its unexpected heavy rainfall this November 2021 after 2015 Chennai floods. We put together a whatsapp based system for citizens to help identify places of water logging in their neighbourhood. The information submitted is made open and accessible to everyone on our city dashboard. We received about 412 spots of flooding across Chennai. This citizen verified information should come in handy while taking pre-cautionary measurements in near future as well as long terms. Details of the system and city dashboard are shared below.

In the process, we also requested interested citizens to share ideas on how to solve this problem of floods. No one knows your neighbourhood better than YOU. We received about 80 entries and we have compiled them into 20 ideas.

We are sharing them below and invite you to participate actively and share your thoughts about the same.

To make it interactive we have made it as a poll. You can vote upto 10 ideas. If you have something to share use the comment section below.

    1. To have storm water drain, that can quickly drain good amount of water in short time. Remove encroachments in water bodies. Deepen water bodies to store more water during rains
    1. A comprehensive rain water drainage system covering the entire city and its neighbourhood should be prepared with the assistance of hydrologists, PWD and Irrigation experts. When approving building plans more attention should be given for area specific specs.
    1. Very first the drainage connections should be done immediately in our area and then the roads should be constructed in equal height in all areas so that the rain water will flow automatically to the ditch.
    1. We will have to clean the drains before the monsoons so that the clogging of rain water can be avoided.
    1. Improve drainage system, desilt canals, remove slums and other illegal occupation on banks of canals/rivers, demolish all buildings whether govt. or pvt(residential/commercial) built on land originally belonging to either lake/pond or any other water body for that matter.
    1. Roads are damaged badly due to which waterlogged heavily on the roads during this rain. Rain water harvesting built on the platform is filled with garbage. All storm water drains are blocked with garbage, mud. These items can taken to Chennai corporation which would help greatly
    1. Road Laying Work isn’t professional.Just identify where the water can de drained off. All the roads should be accordingly laid with accordingly planned slope and all. Simple example can be taken of sowcarpet area which is British planned.
    1. One of the reasons is Speed breaker is an hindrance. Besides laying of roads over n above the old roads and increasing height n pushes the houses to go beneath road level.
    1. To eliminate the problem of waterlogging, roads should be well-designed for drainage of water. There should be an absolute ban on plastic because it often chokes drains. Growing more and more plants can also help to solve the problem of waterlogging.
    1. Solid waste management - all residential and commercial enterprises should be made to manage their own solid waste. This would prevent clogging of drains with waste plastic covers and carton boxes and papers thrown away by the big commercial shops in the area. Regular disposal or treatment of perishable waste materials from the market and residential complexes in the area. Huge mesh like nets to be fixed in various points to prevent any care less/negligence of solid waste disposal in drains.
    1. Proper drainage system on the sides of roads (can be done in such a way that pedestrian path is not affected/ drain system multi-functions as pedestrian path) 2.bringing back compulsory rainwater harvesting 3.waterproofing the lower levels of houses
    1. Short term: Sucking up the water through vaccum-like motor and sending it to wastewater treatment. Changing road pattern such that water is directed to certain areas to drain(can easily be done using tar)
    1. An efficient Disaster Resource Centre bridging all stakeholders and sensitising all stakeholders including community about every aspect of pre, during and after a disaster will be a solution.
    1. To see to it that the adjoining streets or roads are leveled uniformly so that no.single.street is on a sloping gradient
    1. Plenty of water gets accumulated and pumped out in to the sea from this area. It will be good to have common rain water harvesting measures implemented at the lane as this is the low lying area and all accumulated water comes in to this lane. Many buildings have individual RWH measures but that doesn’t address common water beyond the building
    1. Structural changes in storm water drain have to happen. It should be an engineering solution
    1. Most of the areas of water clogging is the regular once. There should be rain water harvesting done locally rather than collecting in drainage and channelising to rivers or tanks. For Mandavelli bus stand gets water clogging every year due to rain. They can rain water harvesting chambers to resolve the issue.
    1. Government drops relaying road over existing tar road …let road level be maintained at same level
    1. Please make iron grip policies to bring down/ reduce the quantity of solid waste at both ends of producers and public
    1. Regional offices can build local communities. Sometimes we don’t know who in the locality that we can leverage upon

0 voters


[1] - Chennai City Dashboard:
[2] - Link to the whatsapp chatbot (click and send chennairains): Click here

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