January Newsletter

March 8, 2013

The TC team has collected data on flyovers, environmentally sensitive areas, slums and slum eviction sites, public transport, administrative boundaries and much more. Click here to play around with the ‘Build a Map’ feature. You can view information about one aspect of the city in a single layer or overlay two or more layers on top of each other to generate provocative insights into our city. Here are some of our featured layers:

  • Toilet Layer :: Do you know how many public toilets there are in the city? Is the number proportionate to the city’s population? Does the informal sector have adequate access to public toilets? Which areas in the city need more toilets? Does the Chennai Corporation take this into account when it constructs toilets? Find the answers to these questions on this layer!
  • Bus routes :: Currently, there is no easy-to-use, publicly available map of bus routes in the city. The TC team decided to create a database of bus routes in the city. We have a searchable map of all the routes in the city with stage to stage data. We have also mapped full routes (including all stops) for 50 routes by riding buses from terminus to terminus, carrying GPS units. You can search for routes by clicking on your origin or destination, searching for stop names, or mapping single routes.
  • Garbage Infrastructure (Solid Waste Management):: Many residents of the city are not satisfied with the cleanliness of their streets and neighborhoods. People often ask whether the Corporation is doing its job collecting garbage from every household every day. Most of us also don’t know where all our garbage ends up. Has the Corporation identified appropriate landfill sites, or does garbage end up in environmentally sensitive areas?

Help Create Data about the City!

Urban Water Logging and Floods:: Is your area affected by waterlogging or floods? This is a user-driven layer that allows you to mark areas affected by water logging on the map. We all know where waterlogging and floods happen in our own neighborhoods. By pooling this information on the map, we can create a record of places which are regularly and badly affected by floods. This map can be used to lobby the government to take action in areas of greatest need. Let’s take control of our city!

Our Blog – The Chennai Kaleidoscope

TC maintains a blog, where team members actively write about ongoing data collection and projects, upcoming events, urban issues, city-related news, etc (read it here). The Chennai Kaleidoscope is an informal platform that allows the TC team, as well as the public to communicate with each other and comment/discuss on urban issues. We encourage our users to utilize this platform by actively reading, commenting and guest blogging. Please contact us if you would like to use our blog as a tool to communicate with other residents in the city.

Here is a glimpse of some of our recent posts:

:: ROB’s ‘In your face clean up’ ::

Roshan Toshniwal writes about a new initiative that he has worked on with one of our interns, Siddharth Hande and a group called Reclaim Our Beaches (ROB). The event was held on a Saturday at Besant Nagar beach, to not only clean up the beach, but also ask the Corporation to provide an adequate number of dustbins on the beach. More details available on the blog!

:: Are more flyovers the answer to our traffic problems? ::

TC shares several articles on how cities around the world are dealing with their traffic woes. Meryl Sebastian also examines the traffic situation and government spending on elevated roads in Chennai in her post,Flyover Frenzy.

TC in the news!

TC received a lot of press coverage since its launch in October. We have been covered by the Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu, Times of India and New Indian Express. The site was also covered by the Tamil newspapers –Dinakaran and Dinamani, as well as two of the most widely read Tamil magazines, Kungumam and Kumudham. The Times of India and New Indian express also specifically wrote on the toilets and the slum layers.

Upcoming Events!

:: TC is in the process of collecting data for its new pedestrian facilities layer, to examine sidewalks, subways, over bridges, etc in the city. The team is also writing a policy note on pedestrian rights with the help of Chennai’s residents. Please help us with this layer by contributing your ideas, comments and data!

:: Join us for an informal meeting and discussion on footpaths and other pedestrian facilities in the city. More details in the next newsletter!

:: Join Chennai Trekking Club’s Coastal Cleanup on January 9th to clean up our beautiful beaches. Click here to volunteer.