Water_Kannagi Nagar

The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board regulates and provides water supply and sewerage services in the Chennai metropolitan area. However, the Board’s mission of contributing “towards health and quality of life of the citizens of Chennai city by providing good quality safe drinking water at reasonable price” does not always translate into reality for the urban poor. The Board does not have a clear policy to provide water for residents of unrecognized slums, even those that have been in existence for decades. Residents in both notified and non-notified slums are compelled to rely on alternate and usually more expensive sources of water like bore wells and water tankers. On the urban peripheries, Metro Water’s services are limited, and residents resort to a variety of formal and informal channels to access water for their daily requirements.

Our research examines and analyzes access to water and sanitation services in the city, with a focus on the urban poor. We develop methodologies that communities and researchers can use to measure access to water, create data, and advocate for change. We examine how urban local bodies and para-statals agencies plan, budget for and maintain existing water infrastructure, and how these plans take into account informal settlements. Our research and activities hope to make a case for increasing access to water in the city, reducing inequalities in access between different communities, and to improve service provision especially in non-notified areas.


Key Research


Case study on EWS scheme (1502)

Related Blogs More >>
June 11, 2013 by

What? The EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) scheme provides subsidized water and sewer connections to economically weaker households. It was launched in 2008 by the then Local Administration Minister M.K Stalin. When it was rolled out, the scheme was expected to … Continue reading

March 20, 2013 by

The objective of our work on public sanitation is to improve access to improved public toilets so mapping the location of existing toilets is only the first step; we have to create a system that will both inform users of … Continue reading

March 14, 2013 by

Among the most exciting aspects of Transparent Chennai is that we actually create data and maps. We work with citizens to collect data using paper maps and then digitise them using GIS software that allows one to represent data spatially. … Continue reading

Press Events More >>
June 17, 2014

Transparent Chennai recently held a meeting to discuss how urban development can better benefit the urban poor. The meeting was attended by researchers, activists, government officials and concerned citizens, who all contributed suggestions on how new urban development programmes can … Continue reading

June 6, 2013

Citizens under the banner SWARAN (Save Water and Recharge Aquifers Network) have come together to save rainwater. Transparent Chennai researcher Roshan Toshniwal who is a member of this network talks about the benefits of rainwater harvesting pits along roads, in … Continue reading

March 8, 2013

We cordially invite you to a meeting on “Sanitation in Tamil Nadu: The State of Public Conveniences” with the Transparent Chennai team at the Centre for Development Finance, IFMR, Chennai. I have been invited by the Tamil Nadu State Planning … Continue reading