Bioethics in India: Proceedings of the International Bioethics Workshop in Madras: Biomanagement of Biogeoresources, 16-19 Jan. 1997, University of Madras; Editors: Jayapaul Azariah, Hilda Azariah, & Darryl R.J. Macer, Copyright Eubios Ethics Institute 1997.

94. The Economic Administration of Biogeo Resources in Urban Cities: A Case Study of Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency (CMDA)

A. Aruna Sivakami, R. Asha
Politics & Public Administration, University of Madras, Chennai 600 005

The theme of human's place in nature, our subjugation of other components of the planet and his modifications of its systems are of perennial interest to scholars and all responsible educated citizens of contemporary societies. Love of beauty, natural and contrived, is a characteristic of the human being and one can scarcely question the statement that art is an emanation of nature. Decoration copies natural forms, and if there is some abstraction it is but an expression of cultivation, of subtler suggestions. In olden days, environment was something contrived or reserved and it had only to do with leisure and enjoyment (Polunin, Nicholas, 1972).

Humanity realized their dependence on nature in the form of plant and animal body as source of supply for the energies needed for survival and for the materials that go into making of his physical conditions. Man knew his dependence on environment and that we live on the same earth which existed when our forefathers came into being and for what we need to lead a wholesome life we have no choice but depend on the physical and chemical environment conditions that have been handed over to us. The quantity and quality and composition of air and water and quality of food are among those conditions. A few PPM (Particles Per Million Matter) of new matter mingling in man's chemical environment that has never been before, or a few percent increase in the ultraviolet fraction of solar radiation would immediately make it impossible for the present generation to assure themselves of a complete wholesome life (Kingsley Davis, 1992). This aspect of man's physiological properties combines with the effect on the natural environment of man's activities which are expanding at a speed well above population growth to produce contradictions which constitute what we call environmental problems (Kingsley Davis, 1992).

Man has come to realize that his activities must be in harmony with nature and that man is only a member of the ecosystem. On the energy front humans are involved with nature. Only 1/20th of the needs are from food. The total amount of energy which humans consume to continue their activities is from their environment, is roughly 20 times as much as the food energy they draw from the ecosystem. The biosphere is our only life support system. Human sustenance depends on how well we manage our life support system with its resources. People should live a right life and not wrong life. It is life associated with biosphere. This makes life lovable and pleasant to live with people and in harmony with the environment. This is total bioethics.

To achieve this, the population must be controlled more so in developing countries vis a vis (Natural resources) biogeoresources. Also the number of people living in the metropolitan city demanding the resources land, air and water apart from other biological resources must be limited. The land and water resources cannot be multiplied. There is a limit to the carrying capacity of land and other natural resources. Bioethical management of biogeoresources is gaining ascendancy among scholars and should be in the agenda of policy makers and administrators. The need has become urgent if one looks on to the pressure on biogeoresources in the administration of urban cities like CMDA. Otherwise dire consequences can take place to make this ancient historical and coastal city uninhabitable (Hindu 3 July 1996). Omnipotence of man is manifest in this metropolitan city yet not all the citizens live a happy and right life.

All evidence indicate that the maintenance of high quality of life in metrocities requires that the naturalistic, materialistic and economic growth as well as our population should be stabilized at an asymptote level consistent with the resources available and the protection of environment quality.

Environmental deterioration varies inversely with economic and technological growth which in turn varies directly with population growth. The key factor for the future happiness and right life in all metropolitan cities is curtailment and stabilization of its population at an appropriate level. What Aldo Leopald called a `Land Ethics' that requires not only correcting the situation but also in inculcating the young mind on the environmental sensitivity (Polunin Nicholas 1972).

The underlying values behind the abstraction labeled resource management are clear. They are devoted to development and change rather than preservation of the natural state and to expansive growth of the scale of economic activity. This set of values lead inevitably to problems in the balance of population and resources which have two dimensions each with spatial implications. The first is identification of problems which might become natural since certain manifestations are common the second dimension is solution of the problems (Polunin Nicholas 1972).

It has to be realized that environment is simultaneously useful as provider of materials, to be beautiful as a provider of recreation, wild life and valued landscapes and to be life supporting system. Another name for ecological stability and quality is paying more concern for the protection of valued landscapes and open space along with green belts around urban cities and green wedges in between the land in metropolitan cities (Hindu 2 Dec. 1996).

An examination of the picture that reveals itself before us in Metros show that time has come to halt the growth before the population/resources imbalance become greater to have national and regional implications (Madras 2001, MMDA 1991). The fragility of the many of the biomes in tropical & developing countries underlines the virtues of leaving a wide margin of safety which is not dependent on technology, an implement which is still generally lacking in such places and sometimes unwisely used where present. What do we mean by fragility when applied to metros and what should be the safety margin?.

Urbanization is the result of industrialization and westernization It also brings in its wake a number of problems like health and sanitation, water supply and sewage apart from housing, shelter, transportation, electricity, food and meat supply and garbage disposal, congestion, storm water drains apart from law and order.

The very magnitude of the problems of urban development presents to the conscience and political commonsense of those in authority no doubt in past explains the inadequacy of the response (Structure Plan for MMDA Area, Vol.II, Allan & Turner 1980). There is continued neglect of economic administration of municipal corporations and municipalities by both the state and union governments.

Urban problems and urban development are admittedly important national issues in India, but ultimately much of the burden of solving these problems, lie in local administrations and municipal corporations. Paradoxically enough, municipal administration & municipal finance have rarely been considered as major issues & municipal policies and attracts hardly any attention from scholars of India & abroad (Ashish Bose 1980). Only from the 1960's, urban studies and problems have become popular.

To condemn urbanization as an evil & make people to keep out of cities now is a cry in the wilderness. So anyone would like to make it clear at the outset that it is our contention that the process of urbanization, is not only desirable but essential for genuine economic growth & social change in India.

But urban issues have to be taken seriously by politicians, and administrators to provide the people a cleaner and healthy civic life which is `right life' or happy life. Urban problems cannot be solved unless the prevailing institutional & legal administrative apparatus is drastically modified to meet the demands of urbanization. It is in this context that the urban problems of a metropolitan city - Chennai are considered in the following pages. To what extent there is management of biogeoresources in accordance with Bioethics?. What was the picture before the advent of local bodies election? What are the acute and peculiar problems of the Chennai metropolitan city?. How the newly and popularly elected councilors and Mayor seek and try to solve the problems of Chennai? what can be done to inculcate Bioethics in the management of a metropolitan city and how can it be done? A serious attempt to answer these questions form the thesis of this paper.

Structure Of The City

The city of Madras stretches nearly 172 sq. km. along the west, from Thiruvanmiyur in the South to Thiruvottiyur in the North. Madras is one of the fastest growing metropolitan cities in the country both in terms of population and employment growth. Important buildings and structures such as the Fort, the Marina - the road parallel to the sea - and the fronting public buildings, the High Court, the Moore Market, the Connemara Public Library and other public buildings are the land marks of the city.

With the advent of independence and industrialization of the state many important industries both in the public and private sectors were established in and around Madras. The Industrial areas within the city are mainly in the Northern and Western parts where they are closely mixed up with residential developments but new industrial establishments are located outside the city limits and many important industries are on the outskirts. People who came to work in these areas could not afford or rent any house and thus began the growth of slums in Madras City.

The Madras Metropolitan Area consisting of Madras city and its environment extends over 1,166.76 sq. km. The estimated population of Madras urban Agglomeration in 1991 using the exponential growth model is 5.56 million and by the component method 5.43 million. The population estimates for MMA and city area estimated by MMDA will be 10.0 million in 2011. It also indicates that between 1991 and 2011, 3.5 million persons will be added to MMA of which the share of the city is 2.0 million (Madras 2011, MMDA 1991).

Three distinct areas are identified within the metropolitan area. First there is the city itself within the limits of Madras corporation. Next there are the urban centres and extensions contiguous to the city area and thirdly there is the rural area with a number of rural settlements. Madras city means the area under the jurisdiction of the city corporation, Madras urban Agglomeration means the area consisting of Madras city & the urban centres & Madras Metropolitan area means the area delineated as Madras Metropolitan area for planning purposes which is also the Madras standard urban area defined by the census (Madras 2011, MMDA 1991).


Slums are important among the factors that lead to mismanagement of biogeoresources of the city and so a discussion of it is undertaken. The vast majority of the people who migrated to the city were attracted by opportunity and comforts offered by modernization. They belonged to the working class and found it difficult to secure accommodation within their means. So, they squatted on every open space available, as near their workplaces as possible and put up huts with cheap building materials. In this way slums grew in number and population in Madras City.

The Govt. of India slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act of 1954 defines a slum 'as any Predominantly residential areas, in which light or sanitary facilities or any combination of these factors are detrimental to the safety, health or morals". Slums are predominantly residential areas of blight. They are chaotically occupied, unsystematically developed and generally neglected areas, overpopulated and ill repaired. The other horrors of slum life are in-sufficient communications, inadequate amenities for physical and social health, the absence of minimum needs and comforts. A slum is taken to mean "hutting areas with huts erected in a haphazard manner without proper access, without protected water supply and drainage arrangements and congested as to allow little free air to get in".

Slums generally present the most unhygienic ugliest, nauseating scene. During rainy season, the whole area gets flooded, the path-ways become swampy and the entire colony become a fertile breeding place for mosquitoes, exposing the slum dwellers living in the area to all sorts of diseases. During summer, the thatched huts are prone to fire accidents. Thus, the slum dwellers life is the most miserable one, devoid of all basic amenities. Proliferation of slums leads to abuse of resources and this makes economic administration or management of urban cities a farce. The slum is a complex product of many factors, chief among them are poverty, physical conditions, population growth, industrial growth, development of trade and commerce; absence of planning and political reasons.

Slum people have scant respect for the resources and nature and the ignorance and indifference affects the environment negatively. Crimes are predominantly rampant in slums. Unemployment and poverty are the main causes for most of the petty and housebreaking theft cases in the city. The antisocial elements in the slum give the criminals protection. They stay in slum areas and operate throughout the Madras City.

Political Reasons

The christening of slums in the name of political leaders made it difficult for the owners of the land to evict the unauthorized hut dwellers. Slums are proliferating year by year. The reason for this increase is the mass influx of rural population to the city in search of employment and other social causes. Proliferation of slums continues with the blessings of the political parties. They need them to show their might and political clout. The only reason why slums have increased in the past twenty years are political. They are the major vote banks of politicians who require them for demonstrations, processions and crimes.

Slums In Madras City

The slums are scattered throughout the city. As South Madras has larger tracts of open space than North Madras, which is predominantly an industrial area, the number of slums are more in South Madras. Due to scarcity of land in North Madras, huts are built mostly on corporation dumping grounds and even over the drainage and sewage pipe lines. It is seen that 56.89 percent of the slum families are put up on public lands. The other 43.11% of the slums families are on private land and on lands of religious and other institutions.

The slums are causing health and civic problems to urban cities which is greater in magnitude than can be expressed. The municipal corporation mayor and council apart from the state government should by law and by enforcement agencies prevent the mass in-migration. They should issue identification cards for city dwellers and prevent the growth of slum by penal punishments to those who encroach. But from 1978 to 1996 politicians of all political parties mostly from ruling party have been responsible to the growth of slums despite the efforts undertaken by World Bank to eliminate them.

The `police lines' is a term which evoke a sense of serenity and fortitude. But the Pudupet police quarters is perhaps the worst among the `police lines' show, their lives are not different from the slum people. Women folk have to complete their daily ablutions well before dawn on the banks of the Coovum and the men later. Here the toilets are a luxury. A semblance of a toilet exist only because Rs.20 is collected from each house (Hindu 30 Dec. 1996).

Encroachments on pavements continue. Law can evict them but vendors are back in business. The corporation's initiative to provide alternative shops does not seem to satisfy the vendors. The Municipal Corporation and the police may be sincere in clearing the pavements. But they seem to be far from realizing the aim of making sidewalks walkable, and make the people realize they are not places for dwelling, hawking goods or begging. In this regard an interesting observation made by Rattan Bazaar and China Bazaar Merchant's Association is that before the construction of the shops on the pavement the place was used as a toilet by slum dwellers, posing difficulties to those waiting in the bus stand, who had to bear the stench of waste. The situation is better after the row of shops were constructed (Hindu 10th Nov. 1996) one wrong cannot be made right by another wrong?

Land Management problems in developing countries are difficult to deal with to a great extent due to poor management of urban land. Estimates reveal that, unless corrective measures are taken well in advance, large Cities, Particularly the metro cities will continue to have an accelerated growth of population during the decades imposing great pressures on scarce urban land, resulting in inflation of land prices.

There are 18,828 pavement dweller families residing in 139 streets having a population of 1.22 lakhs. It is doubtful whether the public sector and private sector be made to reach the entire cross section of these pavement dweller families. All formal housing programs cater only to the formal sector. These are mainly through the land and development programs. The huge populations of pavement dwellers comprising 18 percent of the total population are not catered to by any of the formal housing programs. At the most there is a meager attention given to the formal EWS. Private sector housing again concentrate mainly on the super HIG. From the projected demand for housing and land the requirement for housing for pavement dwellers is 63,000 units/year. The TNUDP will be able to cover only 40,000 units in 4 years.
Income Group
No. of existing households (in lacs)
Habitable House
Additional Housing need by 2001 AD
EWS1.62 1.300.95
LIG2.75 2.201.61
MIG1.97 1.041.64
HIG2.66 0.572.97
Slums3.17 0.903.33
Total12.17 6.0110.50

Slums and In-Migration

The Anna University study reveals that the rate of population growth in the city is declining while it is increasing in the suburbs. The available rail and bus transport network stretched to the limit in the life line of the middle class which has started looking out for houses or flats mostly concentrating in the West, South and North, along the main high ways of GST road, MTH road, EVR Periyar High Road, East West Road and GNT Road, newer colonies are coming up there.

Thus over the years Chennai has grown by leaps and bounds. The development that has taken place in the last two decades is quite amazing. However as the city grows and modernizes the first casualty is its beauty. Where are the congregating open spaces? where are the trees and the greenery? Where is the sense of urban design, which Chennai was proud of during the last few decades? one has to only look at the stark contrast between the old city planned a century ago, and the rest of the urban sprawl. On the one side art decor buildings on the tree lined streets and on the other side the newer addition in the form of dull blocks mars the beauty of multistorey buildings. Trends today show a miserable lack of sensitivity and planning with regard to open space for public purposes. HUDCO's plan to rebuild the buildings in the historical government estate (housing the MLAS) may not retain the greenery inside it as well as the historical structures inside it. Overcrowding of people and proximity of the Apartments and buildings by both HUDCO and Private promoters has resulted in loss of privacy of lives of the population. Their other effects assessed in social terms are social disorders. Urban way of life exerts particular influences upon human behaviour pattern such as social-spatial disorders, psychological disorders and psycho-social disorders.

To prevent the process of in-migration to Madras city, a filtration process with the small towns in its immediate neighbourhood of Chinglepet, South Arcot and North Arcot districts are and should act as filters at work. Improvement in the efficiency of filtration should be undertaken by their respective corporation by proper industrial location and relocation programs, housing to (rule out slums) transportation policies just to name a few can control the migration both in qualitative and quantitative terms (Madras 2011, MMDA 1991).

But that it has not still become efficient is shown by the lack of basic amenities like inadequate water supply, electricity supply, sewage and garbage disposal and lakes and tanks (inadequate maintenance).

Another menacing problem of environment deterioration is caused by cattle. There are about 70,000 cattle in the city maintained in 2000 cattle sheds. More than 2500 families of which 1900 depend solely on the cattle involving over 1300 people. 350 families maintain cows for their own use. 50% of them can be relocated in Madhavaram which is still in need of infrastructural support (Hindu 6 Dec. 1996).

Water Supply

Time has come to mention water is a greater and important resource being supplied by Chennai Municipal Corporation to its people for drinking, domestic and municipal use. The ground water resources have been either depleted or polluted. The proliferation of wells would only dry up underground water resources and in future there will be a shift from oil to water at the international level and from shelter to water at the local levels as the cause of great conflict between people. CPR Environment education centre has pointed out that contamination of ground water in Chennai was due to seepage of sewerage water in Coovum river. In industrial areas the ground water withdrawal has led to intrusion of sea water and so TDS had increased. Very soon it would become impossible for MMWSSB to maintain water supply to Madras city without Krishna Water. Metro water has decided to extend new service connections to houses in Kodungaiyur, Erukanchery, Villivakkam, Kolathur, Virugambakkam, Koyambedu, Saligramam and Velacherry. How far it will be feasible? (for details See Madras 2011, MMDA, 1991, Vol.I - VIII).

Garbage And Waste Disposal In Cmda

Beginning with a discussion of the existing SWM (Solid Waste Management) systems in the Madras Corporation and outside body areas, waste mixing and composting are key issues to be followed by operational management issues and site search for disposal and environment assessment of the proposed sanitary landfill and transfer developments, potential environment impacts, mitigation measures and environment management requirements coordination of public health, education message activities and end by involvement of private sector in waste management (Municipal Solid Waste Management for MMDA, Environment Resources Management London, 1996). This is what the Municipal corporation with our elected Mayor and Councilors should do.

But the corporation is only now in the process of upgrading its transfer stations, following complaints from the people and court directives. In the first phase it will upgrade transfer stations. Regarding the two disposal sites, the report noted that the two dumping sites at Kodungaiyur and Perungudi were not sufficient and continuous burning led to nonhygienic surroundings and a pall of smoke (Hindu 25 Nov. 1996). It is interesting that this municipal corporation garbage dump is located in Metro water's Perungudi Sewage treatment plant, now is sought by Perungudi Panchayat to use it for disposal of the town Panchayat!! (Hindu 19 Nov. 1996).

The Madras corporation also dumped the sites without any systematic control or pattern of engineering and that the land filling methods were rudimentary amounting to contamination of surface water and other environmental impacts. The dumping operations however can continue only for 15 years!! But the inside information is the dumping sites are already filled?! Officials were considering the option of modernizing the two dumping sites. To avoid over dumping, officials of the civic body were also considering the option of developing an alternative site at Kannapalayam in the west. But the Corporation is yet to take up site investigation and environmental assessment of this place. It has also invited private sectors to compost the dumped waste on a BOO (Build Own Operate) basis to prolong the existing sanitary landfill life and also to minimize the quantum of waste.

The city generates about 2,400 tonnes of garbage of which about 1,900 to 2,000 tonnes are cleared every day. The civic body has 302 heavy vehicles, 96 light vehicles and 150 autorickshaws. The present year's storm has left the city in garbage and refuse. The metropolis of about 5.5 million people have turned into a vast rotting garbage dump. Broken roads, crisscross like slit ribbons as sewage bubbles out of metro water manholes and flows on the streets. the weakest point is still in moving the rubbish mixes from the common collecting points to transfer stations (Hindu 6 Jan. 1997).

Setting up an organization for waste disposal in the Chennai Municipal Corporation would go a long way in tackling problems relating to solid waste management. According to UK based consultancy firm there should be improvements for primary collection of garbage through community based organization. Within the city the efficiency was 90% but in other parts of metropolitan area efficiency was only 40% (Hindu 5 Dec. 1996).

As for, Otteri dumping ground, partially it has been converted to housing colonies by Apartment Promoters. Now the petition before the Highcourt by Priyadharsini Apartments (Beracah Road Otteri) asked the court to order the corporation to shift its garbage dumping ground, as it affects their health.

The Madras Highcourt has held that the right to live in a decent atmosphere free and clean from garbage and without any health hazard is a fundamental right guaranteed under the constitution (Hindu 7 Nov. 1996).

Health was defined as a state of complete, physical, mental and social well being and not merely absence of disease and infirmity. Right to live with dignity was a fundamental right (Art. 21 of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution) and in discharge of its duties state has to provide at least minimum conditions ensuring human dignity.

Thus another problem that Chennai Municipal Corporation has to tackle is health. India's efforts in taking primary health seriously is very primitive. Danger to public health are treated as public nuisance. India is slowly becoming an enormous lavatory which breeds not just despair but disease and Chennai cannot be an exception. It is note worthy that Chennai Municipal Corporation has asked the city hospitals and private nursing homes within the city limits (700 in number) under the provisions of Public Health Act to notify how many patients they treated every month on the 23 classified diseases that are communicable. Especially during the rainy season chances of consumption of contaminated water is high as sewer lines are open The Madras is sitting on a mosquito bomb. The types of diseases common to Madras residents are enteric fever, dysentery and diarrhea. To add to their woes now they are susceptible to Malaria, filaria and leptospirosis which mimics jaundice and red eyes and most of the doctors treat it as jaundice. But it ends up in renal failure. The vectors are mainly rats, bandicoots, cats, dogs and stray cattle which are mechanical carriers as human beings are. It is high during the rainy season and affects people in the slums immediately. (For details see Appendix A) Though the slum clearance Board was setup mainly to replace the slums in Chennai by constructing multistoreyed tenements for the slum dwellers, 25 years later now, TNSCB figures show that over 2.2 million people are there in slums in Chennai Metropolitan city when TNSCB has not cleared the slums within Metropolitan city how can it clear the encroachment on pavements? (Huts or tenements) (Hindu 10 Nov. 1996 & 1 Jan. 1997).

Nearly 36% of Chennai population was slum dwellers. Of them 65% are women and children with little or no skills for getting a regular job. Statistical evidence show that Chennai has one of the least skilled work force among the country's metropolitan cities (Hindu 10 Nov. 1996). Upgrading urban shelters, improving the marketing skills, or urban low class entrepreneurs and evolving innovative programs to increase the market for slum products are some of the areas which the Municipal Corporation Council has to concentrate on. TNSCB estimates show that over 75% of the urban poor are engaged in informal sector of handicrafts. The urban planners have to activate and strengthen the non-governmental and community based organizations which are already implementing urban poverty alleviation schemes, albeit on a limited scale. The sustainable Madras Project a UNHS sponsored program can help in finding the needed funds for all these programs and private sector can be fruitfully involved (Hindu 30 Dec. 1996, 1 Jan. 1997). State Housing Board is to take a new role from a builder to facilitator of housing activities. 5% of its scheme areas are economically weaker sections. It is known as "shelter for all scheme" (Hindu 7 Nov. 1996).

Satellite towns identified by Housing and Development Corporation (HUDCO) are quite a few to be assisted by State and Central Government under the mega city program (Hindu 7 Nov. 1996).

In addition MRTs has asked Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board to find settlements for 42,000 families so that second phase alignment of the MRTs from Luz to Velacheri can be completed. It is noteworthy that the Slum Clearance Board has already rehabilitated people living on the embankment of water ways 60,000 shifting them to distant locations in the absence of land availability in the city (Hindu 18 Dec. 1996). This takes us to the problem of transport, suburban railways, MRTS Pallavan transport and Dr. Ambedkar Transport Corporation and water ways.

Only health aspects are mentioned here and so the details of bus fleet and number of trips made, number of commuters of PTC and DATC are not mentioned. The number of suburban trains frequency and number of commuters are also not given. With every day 250 vehicles are added to the city's fleet of 8.89 lakh vehicles. The city may turn into a gas chamber of sorts in the not too distant future. The smoke, a warning signal of the alarming rise of automobile pollution is only the visible part of pall of smoke by carbon monoxide is 60% of the emission slowly eating with into the vitals of those who inhale them. The major components of automobile emission are carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) oxides of Nitrogen (NOX) Sulphur dioxide, lead and particulates. Unleaded petrol is a known carcinogen. Lead can affect the central nervous system, cause damage to kidney, liver and brain. Hydrocarbon being 18% of the emission can cause lung cancer, irritation in the eyes. Lead can also affect pregnancy and mental development of children. The suspended particles get deposited in the lung. Autorickshaws are responsible to the abundant supply of CO and about 30% of unburnt hydrocarbons. At various places air quality was assessed and found SPM (Suspended Particulate Matter) to be high to a mind boggling 1470's while the permitted limit was 200. In the case of carbon monoxide, the quantity ranged from 12 to 70 parts per million (PPM) as against the prescribed limit of 35 ppm (Hindu 9 Dec. 1996). (See Appendix B)

Water Ways of Madras City

The rivers that can be treated as water ways of transportation are Coovum, Adyar and Buckingham Canal. These rivers are crisscrossing the city meeting at several places. But they are used as no more than open drains to carry the city's sewerage sullage, garbage and industrial wastes, leaving them hazardous (Hindu 3 July 1996).


It is uncontaminated at its entry point to the city, collects the surpluses of 75 small tanks from Kancheepuram where it originates and runs 16 KMS from the upper reaches of Madras till it reaches the Bay of Bengal. The Coovum river runs along middle of the city, bifurcates on the southern side of the Central Jail and forms an Island and the two arms join again slightly upstream of the Napier Bridge. There are three types of waste discharges that pollute the river (Hindu 18 Nov. 1996).

1. Hazardous And Non-Hazardous Waste From Industry: The industries pollute Coovum river by discharging used acid wastes, lime water although the ambient water quality of the Coovum is not of the high level. Metallic and non-metallic polluting biota and contaminating other forms of life in the river. (For details See Mott Macdonald 1994 - MMDA).

2. Sullage: A significant quantity of pollutants from squatter settlements on the banks, join the river adding to the contamination. The open defection by the people in the habitat on the banks of the river, night soil and the garbage (solid and liquid) and cattle wastes which are highly polluting. (For details see sullage disposal consultancy Mott McDonald 1994-MMDA). There are still about 8000 households and population of about 40,000 on the banks of the Coovum.

3. Sewage: The sewage treatment plants at Kodungaiyur, Nesapakkam and Perungudi and Koyambedu near Arumbakkam treat the sewage which reach Coovum carrying the wastes of some parts of the city. But overflow from the pumping stations and star hotels and industries apart from houses with legal or illegal sewer connections let out their sewage into storm water drains. Metro water's claims fly in the face of reality that it lets out only treated sewage into the water pumps from treatment plants. But about 200 million litres a day of secondary treated water is said to be discharged into the Coovum from the two sewage treatment plants and seven pumping stations (raw sewage) (Hindu 18 Nov. 1996).

The first flush of storm water is a severe pollutant and as bad as raw sewage and in addition nutrients, sediments and heavy metals are carried in the storm water. House owners throw garbage and other hazardous and non-hazardous wastes into drains leading to Coovum. Further along the Coovum there are 27 points through which waste raw sewage enters into Coovum contributing more than 25 million litres per day (Hindu 18 Nov. 1996). All these contamination lead to the increased pollution of Coovum. It is said that the velocity of flow of the river falls far below the self cleaning velocity as the terrain is even and flat and accordingly the silt and sedimentation are heavy (Mohana Krishnan 1986). The problem is much more with the sandbar at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal stagnation in the estuarine area). The sandbars prevent free water flow into the sea for most part of the year. The sandbars form a pool of water between the Chepet bridge & the river mouths of Coovum. Nearly 10 lakhs to 20 lakhs tonnes of sand deposits collects at the mouth of Coovum per annum. However during incessant and non stop rains the floods carry a substantial quality of Coovum water into the sea and the increase of population at the estuarian area every year complicates the situation.

The pollution of Coovum affects the natural and human environment in a variety of ways. These impacts can be categorized as (i) Ecological (Aquatic and Terrestrial Eco systems). (ii) Health (Exposure to disease and to natural health given in Appendix A). (iii) Social (Public Attitude towards Pollution). (iv) Political and Administration.

Ecological Impact

The extent of pollution, particularly in the estuarine area of the Coovum, is so great that it is incapable of supporting fish life (Azariah et al., 1980) some pollution tolerant species like rotifers and mussels are able to thrive if the river mouth is kept open (Narayanan 1980; Azariah 1984; Konnur et al. 1986) using baseline data from earlier studies, Azariah et al have demonstrated that there has been a drastic change in species diversity. The index of dissimilarity has dropped from 0.9 to 0.5 over a twenty one year period (1958 - 1979) due to a reduction in the number of fish species (Azariah et al 1981) (Paul Appaswamy MIDS 1984).

Marine pollution level by the waterways in Chennai is negligible or not assessed so far. As it is only sewage that mixes with the sea and that also intermittently that the problem is overlooked. This is the same with Canada and some states in the USA. The disposal of municipal sewage into the marine environment without consideration for coastal waters is due to a major oversight of local authorities. Enteric Bacteria and viruses in domestic sewage are a great risk to public health and the effect they may have on the quality and quantity of fish. Because of the self cleaning power of sea water (simply resulting from the death of the microorganisms) the risk to public health and to marine biota created by the discharge of sewage containing the viruses and bacteria always remains local. How long? However the ever increasing population of Madras city, specially of the slums, particular care should be taken in beach resorts and fishing grounds. But marine pollution as such is an urgent challenge to marine scientists and engineers. The decision makers of the world are badly in need of reliable and critical, scientific and technical advice concerning the problems of marine pollution and the practicability and efficiency of various remedial measures that may eventually have to be applied.

The other three impacts are dealt with after discussion of the other two water ways Adyar and Buckingham canals.

The Adyar river skirts along the Southern limits of the city. The effluent from oxidation pond and central technology campus in Adyar discharges into South Buckingham canal. In the river also a number of hutments are located even on the bed of the river and a number of industries located near, directly discharge into Adyar river. The effluent from oxidation ponds in Guindy Engineering college complex and Guindy Industrial Estate discharge into Adyar river. Few studies have been made by the Public Health Department of Engineering College about this. Organic pollutant constituent is very high and it is estimated that the waters are almost equal to heavily concentrated domestic sewage. Along the banks of the Buckingham canal on the southern side, it is estimated that there are about 7000 hutments. Domestic discharge, sullage and other wastes enter into the river Buckingham Canal.

The Buckingham canal runs north and south but crosses Coovum and Adyar at points and goes down south. It traverses the thickly populated areas in the city. The Otteri nullah which takes off from the surplus of Villivakkam tank, near Padi and flows through Anna Nagar and falls into the Buckingham canal near Basin Bridge power station. The Coovum and Adyar river flow only for about three or four months during the rainy season. With proper planning and forethought certain stretches of Coovum and Adyar river can be profitably used for pleasure boat rowing, swimming and recreation but not transportation. Their banks and neighbourhood should be used as natural parks and playground (Hindu 18 Nov. 1996).

The still emerging slums and non clearance of the same on the banks of certain stretches of Coovum and Buckingham canal that have filed a writ petition in the High court seeking a stay for the work of MRTs (from proceeding to Luz and Velachery) are responsible for these water courses becoming open sewers and open air latrines. Bad odour, stench and foul smell emanate from them.

The sand bars at the mouth of Adyar also creates a pool of water between Maraimalai Adigal Bridge and sea in Adyar responsible for sand deposits and prevent from water flow into the sea. The biological productivity of estuaries is naturally very high, but among man's aquatic resources they are probably most susceptible to damage from pollution by various waste materials. This fact becomes a more serious health hazard when we realize that the fish species which are harvested (for e.g. in the USA) more than 70% spend part of their life cycles in estuarian waters. What is the situation in Adyar estuary?

The gravity of pollution of the major water ways is a stark reminder of the work ahead. There are 726 pollution out falls into these identified by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board in June 1995. The Coovum accounts for the maximum 323 followed by Adyar river 222. Buckingham canal has 122 pollution outfalls Otteri nullah for 59 commercial and institutional out falls at 73 points, slums at 65 points and industrial discharges at 44 points and so on (Hindu 18 Nov. 1996).

A combination of inadequate refuse collection services, lack of public education and consciousness regarding the health hazard associated with improper solid waste disposal and insufficient regulatory enforcement, all contributed to the quantities of waste materials that are disposed of into the Madras water-ways.

Madras high court has directed the government to take immediate steps in four weeks with Metro water, Pollution Control Board and Chennai Corporation to frame a scheme to end pollution in Adyar, Coovum and Buckingham canal and other waterways. Petition filed by the consumer action group and Exnora International foundation in 1993 that the pollution affected the rights of residents from access to pollution free air and water that were affected so much. Pollution Control Board in a counter affidavit said 535 sewer/storm water drain out falls have been identified in all the waterways and MMWSSB has been asked to take steps to arrest the discharge. A ray of hope for the waterways dawned last month when the PWD flushed the Coovum with flood waters discharged from the Korattur anicut about 15 km from the mouth of the river, near the Napier Bridge. The anicut lies on the Western outskirts of the city.

What has the government of Tamil Nadu and the Madras Corporation with CMDA and PCB and TSCB and CMWSSB have done so far? An analysis of the reports submitted by different consultants for cleaning and navigating apart from removing sullage and different technical solutions given by them show social feasibility but not economic feasibility. RITES INTERNATIONAL gave a rosy picture of transportation by their socio-economic feasibility studies in 1989. But Severn Trendt an UK based consultant in 1992 ruled out the economic feasibility of these water ways being used as part of city's transport system due to the pillars of MRTs transport system. A reference must be made of Mott McDonald Ltd. of UK here. They have given consultancy in 1993-94 for sludge disposal in the three waterways. This also has been shelved. Now ABT-AOT DOSOKAI Japan states it is possible to clean and revive the dying Coovum and Buckingham canal of its sullage and maintain them by technology and dredging (Hindu 3 July 1996). Every thing depends on the political and administrative capability of the Chennai government and the Madras Municipal Corporation, now the elected Mayor and Councilors.

A study of the causes of these major river ways of city being polluted would reveal that it is in difference and ignorance of mostly slum people, unauthorised sewage and seepage from industries are the major pollutants. It is the political parties that are responsible for the growth of slums, encroachment on pavements apart from the corrupt administrative personnel. Political parties and ruling party have patronized the slums as they are their city vote Banks. In fact the politicians and administrators have added in addition to the city garbage and refuse, the slum population.

To put an end to all this (replacement rehabilitation and reduction of slum population) and correction of deficiencies in the Municipal solid waste management and removal of sullage from the waterways and stoppage of sewage water being discharged into the ways must be undertaken and then go ahead to give technical solutions which require a substantial effort and money and manpower to be extended over a period of time. (See Environmental Sanitation Program, Pasadena, California, USA)

At least to alleviate the flooding during rains PWD has to take a fresh look at a 20 year old proposal (Sivalingam Committee proposal of 1976) and improve the seven tanks in the Coovum minor basin to mitigate flooding to Chennai (Hindu 5 Dec. 1996). Rough estimates reveal that considerable quantum of water was allowed to go waste in a city which periodically suffers from water shortage. The seven tanks are at Thirumalpur, Maanthangal, Govindavadi, Veliyur, Puzhalur, Vallathur and Coovum which have aggregate capacity of over 20 mcft. This provides among others the capacity to enhance their storage and improve the existing surplus arrangements. The social benefit will be saving about 8,500 acres of land from submergence and protect nearly 4000 huts covering 32,000 persons.

Tokyo based Infrastructure Development Institute IDI has taken up to recommend first appropriate measures to solve the pollution problem of the Coovum river. Tokunnasu of Japan said that Japan was keen on funding projects which would promote environmental improvement. The Coovum project falls under this category. ABT-AOTs Dosokai has also expressed hope in cleaning the rivers with dredging, water flow analysis and other technological solution and maintenance (Hindu 2 Jan. 1997).

Now it is suggested at least 270 crores are required to clean and rehabilitate the major waterways. Totally 400 crores will be required providing allowance for price escalation and other aspects (Hindu 5 Dec. 1996).

Work on all the waterways can be taken up simultaneously or it can be in a phased manner. The measures suggested in the study include low cost sanitation for unsewered areas, provision of interceptor sewers, disposal of sullage/solid waste and rehabilitation of sewage pumping stations/treatment plants. Centre for Environmental studies at Anna University is to undertake the study.

Metro water would increase its treatment of raw water treatment from conveyance to the treatment plant and clear water transmission mainly from Chembarambakkam to Porur for integrating with the distribution system. It will be from 440 million litres a day to 930 (MLD) per day. The Housing and Urban Development Corporation has sanctioned Rs.100 crore loan assistance to Metro water. (MMWSSB) for this (Hindu 3 Jan. 1997).

Storm and Storm Water Drains

This takes us to a discussion of storm water drain next. The storm water drain is provided mainly to dispose off the storm waters during periods of rains and on non rainy days storm water drains should be kept dry. Urban storm water drainage study involves a 90 km strip north of the River Coovum and 30 km area south of the city known as Pallikaranai. A large amount of work has been carried out over the years to examine the mechanisms of flooding and to identify possible solutions (Storm Water & Drainage MMDA 1993). Since the disastrous floods of 1985, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996 the efforts gained momentum. The recommendations of world Bank and Ramalingam report are under consideration as the system is complex and some form of simulation are required to predict how different measures will interact (Hindu 16 Dec. 1996).

Madras is used to minor flooding that occurs regularly each year during the monsoons. Even relatively short-bursts of intense rainfall are sufficient to cause local flooding in low lying areas with inadequate local drainage (blackspots) infrastructure or where the drainage system has become blocked. Some 280 `blackspots' have been identified by the Madras Municipal Corporation. The city has about 550 km of storm water drains compared to 1900 km of urban roads. The inadequacy of storm water drains increases the pollution (Hindu 16 Dec. 1996). Again the practices of star hotels and industries letting out part-of the sewage in storm water drains during summer apart, from illegal sewage aggravates pollution. Localized blockages of the system occur due to dumping of solid waste in the drains and/or the routing of the other services (water supply pipes, cables, foul sewerage pipes) through the drain cross section. It is clear that most of the severe flooding is caused by the inability of some key elements of the system (notably both the Coovum and Korataliyar in their downstream reaches) to adequately pass flows resulting from heavy rainfall. Tidal influence is negligible as water levels in the rivers are generally well above tide levels under severe flood events. During high spring tides there may be transient periods when tide levels dominate but these are of limited duration. So one of the keys to flood mitigation would be to ensure adequate capacity in the downstream reaches of Buckingham canal and Coovum. It can be done either by increasing the conveyance of the channel or reducing the peak flows. Apart from the performance of river/canal/drain network another critical issue for flood control is the safety and integrity of those elements of the system which holds back water, the tanks and the river embankments. Failure of embankments is usually sudden and often catastrophic. The best solution seems to be that of PWD Engineer K. Sahadevan to build a small dam in Thiruneermalai and one anicut in Agaram that will reduce the water flow to Coovum.

Traffic disruption during heavy rain and flooding is generally severe and is caused by a number of factors including impassability of the road, accidents and breakdowns. Damage to property is also significant. Primary responsibility for storm water drainage rests with the state government and its constituent departments and agencies. The Madras Municipal Corporation reports to the Secretary of Municipal Administration and water supply and is responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the storm water drainage systems within the city area. It is also responsible for vector control within these systems and for coordinating emergency response. The Health Department are responsible for vector control and the newspapers indicate only symbolic actions have been taken this year on vector control. Responsibility for the design, construction and maintenance of the urban drainage system rests with a superintending Engineer. Secondary organization cooperating with the state government and Madras Municipal Corporation are Madras Metropolitan Development authority and Madras Metropolitan water supply and sewerage board which are responsible to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Secretary for Municipal Administration and water supply and are involved in all aspects of urban infrastructure including storm water drainage. Further the Southern Railway Board is responsible for planning, design, construction and operation of all Railway bridges and culverts crossing waterways. The Tamil Nadu Housing Board is responsible for the planning, design and construction of storm water drainage infrastructure on their housing colonies. Maintenance of drains within some colonies is the responsibility of the board whereas at other sites it is taken by Madras Municipal Corporation or by the local Municipality.

Tamil Nadu slum clearance Board is responsible for planning, design and construction of storm water drainage associated with slum resettlement and rehabilitation projects. In slum improvement areas the infrastructure is handed over to the local authority for maintenance. In tenements scheme areas and slum areas, designs are constructed and connected to local authority system.

Tamil Nadu pollution control board has a general responsibility for public health and for ensuring that waterways are free from pollution by solid or liquid waste. It has the power to fine offenders and to charge polluters for amounts of discharge of effluents. Indian Meterological department and Department of remote sensing of Anna University provides data on meterological condition and satellite imagery which are of value in planning flood relief measures and planning and designing flood control system. Madras Port Trust collects and provides tidal information required for the planning and designing of storm water and flood control systems. The question is are they doing their work in close cooperation? Is there a coordination among the different functioning agencies in the field. The answer is not 100% affirmative with the whole of Madras city marooned and parts of city marooned there are days when the people in different parts of Madras city with no drinking water supply (Hindu 5 Dec. 1996).

The residents of Mylapore rose in rebellion against the corporation showing their protest against the rising floods from Buckingham Canal getting into the houses and later calmed down (Hindu 30 Dec. 1996). This is only one instance of the flood havoc and inability of the corporation to cope with the situation Manali, Porur, Kunrathur, Nerkundrum are the outskirts towns that were marooned.

Newer slums or appendages to the slums apart from encroachments on pavements continue to crop up that add to the pollution problems of the city. TNHB is responsible for high raise buildings or apartments apart from private building promoters who leave no green area within the city. As there is lack of water permeability minor rains produce water logging and creation of puddles on the roads. We have policies on papers and records and reports but no programs. If we have programs no implementation. If implemented takes place only one or two programs are done and that too in a haphazard manner.

As people, we are not mentally equipped with public causes but only private, group and political concerns. This failure has resulted in the virtual non use of our public nuisance provisions Mr. Justice Krishna Lyer to whom Indian law owes much more than is known - tried very hard to infuse some life into the magisterial powers to cleanup Ratlam municipality yet Govt. orders do not always result in compliance unless backed up by contempt action and an endless litigation add infinitum. More recently, Mr. Justice Kuldip Singh tried to deal with Delhi garbage by issuing detailed instructions on garbage collection. It has taken much courage to meet both the minor charge that the court has been reduced to the role of garbage supervisors as well as major charge of judicial activism. On paper, health programs exist, resources are allocated and siphoned off instead of being effectively spent.

We are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea of local irresponsibility and programmatic failure to be faced with a second superimposition arising from environmental legislation and program. Environmental policy consists of two main parts antipollution and pro-conservation resources. Such resources invariably confront the well off and industry who violate planning and ecological dispensations with tenacious resistance. The list of litigation is only illustrative of the tip of the iceberg. Problems come from whole of India and every corner of it.

The bureaucratic officials are in no way less responsible as the politicians are for damages done to the environment. Our officials constantly proceed on the assumption that they have powers but not duty. The most frightening concerns that face India - ill health, disease and death.

People's programs have to be devised at each local level and in respect of each process so that activists, the media and judges can force solutions over the unscrupulous administrators to politicians. There must be more consciousness to Environment and health which can be achieved only by environmental education.

Environmental Education

The first phase of environmental education, involves development of understanding what is environment, how it functions, how it is inter-related to man, how man affects his environment and what the consequences of man's actions really are. The second phase is the development of attitudes especially attitudes of responsibility for the environment - which are also often called conservation ethics or morality. The first phase interprets knowledge, the second phase provides guide lines for action, seeking to show that after man's personal fulfillment in partnership with nature through and with natural forces the important aim is to preserve it and enjoy it.

Attention should be paid to matters of attitudes in teaching man how to behave, this is by means an easy goal to achieve. It certainly imposes limits on uncontrolled behaviour of man affecting the environment, requires that man should show self control and presupposes recognition that everyone shares in responsibility for the quality of the environment. The thought structure itself must be invaded, for ecological responsibility by collectivist, non-regimental and group minded orientation to develop community consciousness and ecological responsibility in the use and control of natural resources as a common property concept. In general terms the world exists not in absolute dimensions but in peoples head. By such means of creating and cultivating positive attitudes of man towards nature and his handling of natural resources can be positively changed. (Sundaram mimeograph 1994) They should learn to value community resources and community education seems to be the hall mark of re-education. This will enable them to have self direction at the community level. A learning that would inculcate right and wrong life and the urge to live a right life in association with nature. That is Bioethics. It is not enough that we educate the head and hands and not the hearts. The major aim of education should be to humanize people to enlighten the minds and illuminate hearts of individuals on right living.

People living near water should be taught not a sociological view but knowledge of water as a natural resource on which life is based, and that water is to be preserved and conserved, in short, given water literacy. There is no point in going for technical and managerial and legal solutions that are excellent in diagnosing the water pollution but ignores the linkages between the people and the knowledge process which matter very much for water management and environmental planning in a habitat. (Sundaram mimeograph 1994). The people in a community are in one sense aware of the environmental issues and water quality but do not have the holistic picture of the problems, i.e., how the environmental behaviour is determined both by their acts and others.

All citizens of the Chennai Municipal Corporation should be exposed to a continuous and sustained program and process of environmental education. It is an essential part of a well integrated, scientific and liberal education for children and young people. Environmental conservation is an environmental hygiene for society and as such must surely have its place in education.

Young people should be directly involved in political, social and economic aspects of environmental problems. Environmental education is needed as something to be properly integrated within general education systems - in the form of an environmentally oriented approach in interpreting the materials and knowledge involved and so providing education in the wider sense of the word. The objective of environmental learning should not be for surface level awareness creation but to shake the very foundation of ignorance and imbibe the environmental/ecological knowledge. In this context, the existing paradigms and world views have to be dismantled. Further it is said that one needs to get at the unconscious thought structure otherwise the ideologies and world views that guide our ecological consciousness become the victim among the poor in these habitats more because of apathy. (Sundaram mimeograph 1994).

Then proceeds, the identification of local problem since certain manifestations are great as it affects everyday lives and health the second dimension is solution that can be contemplated and done by the community participation by community schemes drawn up by them and assist the local and state government in greater problems that require technological and legal solutions.

The heightened awareness of the inter-relationship of biota and their inanimate surroundings will make possible identification of the wider concept of environmental management. People have to realize that the environment has simultaneously to be useful as a provider of materials, to be beautiful as a provider of recreation, wildlife, birds, valued landscapes and to be life supporting as a provider of space, food and essential biological systems such as those which produce oxygen and carbon dioxide. A movement to preserve and promote green belts around the city or green wedges in between the city may be created as done in cities of Great Britain. Along with this goes the desire to provide more open space and access to resources for outdoor recreation which can frequently combine with landscape protection and preservation of historical structures. Civic authorities should also realize that the purpose of environmental management is not to produce and distribute or manage use of resources but simultaneously retain a good life with life supporting environment. Then there would be an attempt to reconcile the demands of socioeconomic systems within the constraints of the biosphere. Civic authorities should constantly involve local people and programs should be community based especially water supply and sewage management.

Civic associations and philanthropist organizations such as Rotary, Lions, Madras chamber of commerce, clubs and society are generally anxious for the opportunity to cooperate at least financially. Urban community development program can provide them a local nucleus for their programs. Education and professional institutions have vast resources in terms of their extension services, skills in survey and research, consultancy services of various kinds etc. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences recently announced a shift in emphasis in medical education for specialization to training of community oriented doctors - where each medical student will be adopting some families whose health be followed by him for some time. Charitable trusts and endowments can also be effectively roped in for providing financial support for community services that come closest to their stated objectives. The efficiency and effective functioning of local bodies and standard of services provided by them depend not only on the organizational procedures, financial capabilities and administrative and technical competence of the municipal personnel, but also the interest, understanding and cooperation of the citizens. Urban community development program can assist the local bodies towards this end by educating, orienting and organizing local communities and helping them to adopt right procedures and follow proper channels to ensure redress of their problems and services. It can enlist the cooperation of local people for undertaking self help activities which can supplement and expedite the provision of physical and civic amenities. On the other hand, the program can draw attention of the municipal body on the problems of the area and can mobilize greater governmental action and attention.

Appendix A

Luckily Chennai escaped the big bomb of dengue and plague almost unscathed when other cities became a prey. The city of 50 odd lakhs is prone to abode of diseases, a reflection on its sinking sanitary conditions leading the peak, is the ever virulent malaria followed by filaria, leptospirosis, diarrhea and a multitude of viral infections including chickenpox keeping doctors busy. According to official statistics Chennai accounts for nearly 50% of the total number of malaria cases and 70% of urban malaria in the state. Mention urban malaria anywhere in the world, the city's name comes up, adds the public health official.

Till September this year while the state achieved a 62% reduction in the incidence of cerebral malaria compared to the corresponding, period last year in the city it has risen by over 60%. Interestingly Directorate of Public Health (DPH) officials have found that the disease is fast becoming endemic in places such as Mylapore, Adyar and extension areas like Besant Nagar and Indira Nagar, which are known for better living conditions.

In the case of leptospirosis it is hardly known that the entire city is disease endemic with a mortality rate as high as 16%. This disease caused by an organism called leptospirum mimics Jaundice and in many cases end up in renal failure. Quite a few medical practitioners are still unaware of the disease and mistake the symptom such as redness in the eye, muscle pain and headache for viral fever. The symptoms of jaundice prompts them to overlook the disease while many have a wrong notion that it affects only animals. During every monsoon there is an outbreak of the disease in the city which goes unnoticed. The epidemiological study of the disease conducted by the Department found that contaminated environment and torrential rain were closely associated with the disease.

Calling into question the sincerity and success of the Chennai Corporation in tackling the disease is the field situation. The disease thrives on the poor sanitary conditions and the menace of stray animals in the city. The causative organism lives in the kidney of animals such as rats, bandicoots, dogs and cattle and it comes through their urine spreading in the surroundings.

During the rainy season the urine and faeces mix with water and spread over extensive areas. Anybody coming into contact with the contaminated water can get the disease by even a small abrasion on the skin. During the monsoon leptospirum stalks all, as wading through knee deep water has become inescapable way of life in the city. The pathetic lack of storm water drains makes the situation quite unsafe.

The disease can reach even one's living room through the drinking water supply. A mere mouth wash with contaminated water - whether from metrowater or otherwise - is enough for the organism to gain entry through a small scratch in the mouth. Chances of such an occurrence are high as sewage and contaminated rain water often get mixed with drinking water in the city. The ugly heaps of uncleared garbage also contribute to the spread of leptospirosis in a big way as they harbour rats and bandicoots. The garbage also attracts animals like stray cattle and dogs which get infected immediately only to spread the disease around.

In the case of filaria, inquiries, with DPH Department of biotechnology, Anna University and the Tuberculosis Research Centre reveal that several parts of the city are endemic to this highly stigmatized disease. Places such as Mambalam, Kodambakkam, Velacherry, Thiruvottiyur, Padappai, Saidapet, Pulianthope and Perambur are very vulnerable. While the endemicity at Kodambakkam and Mambalam is about 2% in Padappai also the mosquitoes are highly infected. Medical practitioners say that they regularly receive patients infected with filaria the treatment of which takes long periods of time. Here again the disease doesn't discriminate against the poor.

The hot and dusty conditions in the city during summer are conducive to the spread of chicken pox. Last year, between December & February, there was an outbreak of the disease in the city. At the Chennai corporation's communicable Diseases Hospital Tondiarpet alone nearly 600 cases were reported during the period.

The entire city is endemic to diarrhoeal diseases. Following the recent rain which almost submerged the city in contaminated water, there has been a big spurt in the incidence of diarrhea, private hospitals and practitioners say the main route was drinking water. Other than malaria, the origin of most of the diseases can be attributed to the appalling sanitary conditions of the city.

Garbage is a reservoirs of rats and bandicoots the carriers of organisms causing leptospirosis and plague. Also attracts flies, which spread diseases like typhoid, infective hepatitis and diarrhea, not to mention cattle, dogs and ragpickers.

Nullahs are an ideal breeding ground for Culex mosquitoes spreading filaria contaminates food and drinking water.

Contaminated waterways provide the city with hordes of Argimeres mosquitoes which give the residents sleepless nights. Main contributors to the uncontrolled mosquito menace in the city. Also contaminate food and drinking water.

Stagnant water helps breeding of Anopheles mosquitoes which spread Malaria can get contaminated, spreading leptospirosis and water borne diseases.

Lack Of Storm Water Drains and Sewerage results in water stagnation all over the city (spreading leptospirosis & diarrhea). Distributes garbage & noxious materials. Rain water can mix with sewage and seep into drinking water supply lines wreaking havoc. It also aids faeco-oral transmission of many diseases through mechanical carriers like the humans and animals.

In the case of malaria, the utter lack of civic sense among the public is blamed for the spread. Hectic construction activity and open overhead tanks and wells render the malaria quagmire even more tractable. It is only a matter of luck that the city did not fall to any major outbreak so far. Surat (plague) learnt a bitter lesson and since then transformed itself into one of the cleaner towns. If only the civic authorities realized that cosmetic changes cannot really help and gambling with luck would be costly so that they attack the root of the problem, namely clearing slums, garbage refuse and pollutants.

Appendix C: Madras - 2011: Policy Imperatives An Agenda For Action

Based on a Research Program conducted by The Times Research Foundation

Madras Metropolitan Development Authority October 1991

Important Events in the History of the City

8th Century Triplicane and Parthasarathy Temple

16th Century Kapaleeswarar Temple rebuilt

1522 Portuguese at Santhome

1547 Erection of Luz-Church

1639 Grant of Madras (Site of Fort St. George) to the English East India Company

1640 Settlement of Madras by Francis Day

1676 Acquisition of Triplicane

1680 Building of St. Mary's Church at Fort St. George

1683 Creation of a Bank - a Joint Stock Concern of Indian Merchants

1687 A cyclone devastates Madras

1688 Inauguration of the Corporation of Madras

1693 Acquisition of Egmore, Purasawalkam and Tondiarpet

1708 Acquisition of Tiruvottiyur, Nungambakkam, Vyasarpadi, Kottivakkam and Sattangadu

1726 Marmalong bridge (now Marai Malai Adigal bridge) built on Adyar at Saidapet

1727 Corporation of Madras reorganised under the Royal Charter 1726

1733 Preparation of a Map of Madras (Pitts' map)

1746-1749 Madras under French occupation

1752 Madras again becomes the Seat of Presidency

1769 Raid on Madras by Hyder Ali of Mysore

1781 Construction of Pophams Broadway

1786 Settings up of Medical Department and Post Office

1790-92 First Botanical Garden and Race Course

1793 Erection of Madras observatory

1800 Topographical Survey of India initiated at Madras

1816 Setting up of India Film Company

1817 Starting of Madras Literary Society

1826 Formation of Board of Public Instruction

1834-35 Setting up of Engineering and Medical Schools which later became colleges

1841 Setting up of High School which later became the Presidency College

1846 Construction of promenade and development of Marina

1856 First Railway line opened between Madras and Arcot

1857 Incorporation of the University of Madras

1862 Screw pile pier built at harbour site

1864-65 Presidency College and PWD building commenced

1868-72 Protected water for Madras

1871 First Census of Madras

1874 Senate House built

1876-78 Construction of Buckingham Canal

1876 Buckingham Mills opened and construction of Madras Harbour

1878-80 Starting of Newspapers Hindu, Madras Mail and Swadeshamithran (Tamil)

1882 Theosophical Society at Adyar and First Telephone Exchange

1887 Indian National Congress first meeting

1895 First Tramway line opened

1905 Setting up of Madras Port Trust and King Institute

1906 Madras Electric Supply Corporation founded

1907 Indian Bank set up

1909 Southern India Chamber of Commerce established

1915-16 Leather Trades Institute, Madras Trade School and Women's Christian College opened

1922-24 Textile Institute and School of Indian Medicine

1927 Music Academy started

1929 Cinema Industry in Madras comes of age

1930 Electrified suburban line to Tambaram

1946 Kalakshetra established

1947-70 Independence and post Independence industrialisation

1956-57 Madras State (later Tamil Nadu) comes into being with the annexation of areas of old

Madras . Presidency to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala

1959 Setting up of Indian Institute of Technology.

Satellite Towns In Madras Urban Agglomeration, 1971
1. Alandur 30.Peerkankaranai
2. Ambattur 31.Perungalathur
3. Anakaputhur 32. Perungudi
4. Avadi 33.Polal
5. Chitalpakkam 34. Polichalur
6. Erukancheri 35. Poovirundhavalli
7. Kannapalayam 36. Sadayankuppam
8. Kathivedu 37.Saligramam
9. Kathivakkam 38. Sembarambakkam
10. Kattupakkam 39. Sennirkuppam
11. Kodampakkam 40. Soranjeri
12. Kodungaiyur 41. St.Thomas Mount-cum Pallavaram
13. Koyambedu 42.Tambaram
14. Kunrathur 43.Thirumangalam
15. Madhavaram 44. Thirumazhisai
16. Madippakkam 45. Thiruneermalai
17. Mathur 46.Thiruninravaur
18. Meenambakkam 47. Thirusulam
19. Melmanambedu 48. Thiruvanmiyur
20. Mudichur 49.Thivottiyur
21. Nandukkuthagai 50. Thiruverkadu
22. Naravarikuppam 51. Vallanur
23. Nazarathpettai 52. Varadharajapuram
24. Nemilicheri 53. Veeraragavapuram
25. Nerkundram 54. Velacheri
26. Orgadam 55.Vengavasal
27. Pallavapuram 56. Villivakkam
28. Pallikkaranai 57. Virugambakkam
29. Pammal

Figure 3: Madras Metropolitan Area - Constituent Units

This map indicates the boundaries of MMA as constituted under Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, the present limits of Madras City, and Madras Urban Agglomeration area as per Census 1981. The MUA area is shown in the figure in vertical hatching. The following table gives their extent and population.
Spatial Unit
Population in lacs
1981 Actual
1991 Provisional
MMA1,167 4657
MUA572 4354
Madras City 17233 39

Figure 4: Local Bodies In MMA

This figure indicates the boundaries of the City Corporation, and other municipal local bodies in MMA. While Madras City has a municipal corporation, there are four municipal councils, five townships and one cantonment board. The remaining area in MUA is under 23 town panchayats, while the rural areas in MMA are covered by 10 panchayat unions. The following table gives the extent and population of the municipal bodies.
Local Body
Legend in figure
Population-1981 in lacs
Madras City Corporation MC172 32.8
Municipal Councils
Thiruvottiyur 121 1.3
Alandur2 71.0
Pallavapuram 318 0.8
Tambaram 421 0.9
Kattivakkam 55 0.2
Madavaram 630 0.5
Avadi7 261.2
Ambattur 839 1.2
Thiruverkadu 919 0.2
St.Thomas Mount Pallavaram 1011 0.3

Agencies Related To Metropolitan Management System In Madras Metropolitan Area
Agency/ Department/ Institution Functions Jurisdiction
Group I : Agencies connected with World Bank Projects
MMDA Planning & Co-ordination, Development Control, Special Projects and New Towns MMA : 1167
TNHB Execution of Sites and Services and Housing Projects for all income groups State
TNSCB Slum Improvement, Clearance of Slums and Building Tenements State
PTC Bus Services in MMA MMA
DHRW Construction and Maintenance of highway and roads other than municipal roads State
MMWSSB Provision of Water Supply and Sanitation Services within Madras City MMA but operating within City only
PWD Maintenance of Public Buildings, Waterways and beach State
Madras Corporation Provision and Maintenance of Civil Services within City Madras City 172
Municipal Local Bodies Provision and Maintenance of Civil Services Respective areas within MMA
Municipalities and Township (9) Total area 175
SIDCO Development of Industrial Estates State
TIIC Financing Small and Medium Industries State
Department of Social Welfare Programs for supporting disadvantaged sections of the population State
Director of Primary Health Primary Medical Care State
Group II : State and Other Agencies
Local Bodies other than Municipal Entities Provision and Maintenance of Civil Services Respective areas within MMA
Town Panchayats (23) Total area 185
Village Panchayats under (215)

Ten Panchayat Unions

Total area 625
Cantonment Board (1) Total area 11
TNEB Generation, Supply and Distribution of Electric Power State
TNPCB Pollution Control, Licensing of Industries from Pollution aspect State
TWAD Board Design and Construction of Water and Sanitary Projects on deposit basis for Local Bodies State
Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Planning Traffic Facilities, enforcement of Traffic Plans and Regulations Madras city
District Collector Co-ordinating Land Acquisition process Respective District
Group III : Central Agencies
Railways Operating EMU suburban services on the three rail corridors MMA and beyond
MTP(R) Construction of MRTs --
Madras Telephones Telecom Services MMA
IAAI Operation and Management of Madras Airport Airport
Madras Port Trust Port Functions Port Area

Projected Population Of Existing Metro Cities 1991-2001
Urban Agglomeration
Population 1981
Annual Growth rate %
Projected Population (lacs)
2001 RG
2000 UN
Calcutta91.70 2.69119.60 129.30165.30
Bombay82.30 3.26112.70 139.50160.00
Delhi57.10 4.5989.60 129.00132.40
Madras42.80 3.0457.50 73.7081.50
Bangalore 29.105.82 51.2076.30 79.50
Hyderabad 25.303.48 35.7046.20 51.30
Ahmedabad 25.103.70 36.5045.50 52.80
Kanpur16.90 2.8522.30 25.7031.70
Pune16.80 4.0324.90 33.1036.90
Nagpur13.00 3.3918.10 22.7025.60
Lucknow10.10 2.1412.40 14.6020.10
Jaipur10.00 4.6515.90 23.8022.10

Note: RG - Registrar General, Census of India UN - United Nations.

Summary Of Population Estimates 1991-2011
Source Population in million Formula
1991 2000 2011 Adopted for
MMA M.C. MMAM.C. MMA M.C.Projection
MMA Plan 71-91 5.313.00 -- -- -
Madras Urban Development 5.824.34 7.135.31 -- Exponential
Project5.68 4.236.86 5.11- -Component
Structure Plan 7.315.42 -- -- -
Demographic Handbk 6.044.33 8.145.85 -- High
MMDA5.98 4.297.68 5.52- -Medium
Reg. General of Census -- 7.37- -- -
United Nations -- 8.15- -- -
MMDA Projection 6.034.10 7.885.14 10.355.75 Geometric
19895.91 4.037.52 4.949.50 6.04URGD
Stat Dept., Government of Tamil nadu 6.134.31 7.765.41 9.75- -

Population Level In 2011 Adopting The Medium Rate Of Growth And Migration

Madras Metropolitan Area ... 10.40 Million

Madras City ... 7.00 Million

Madras Urban Agglomeration ... 9.13 Million

Population Projection in Madras (Millions)
Special Unit
Area in Sq.Km.
Madras City 1723.27 4.295.52 7.00
Urban Agglomeration (Excluding City) 4001.01 1.331.70 2.13
Rural595 0.280.36 0.460.57
Total1,167 4.565.98 7.689.70
Figure 7: Major Development Projects in MMA

The future development would be influenced by the committed and ongoing projects in MMA. Some of the large projects which will have a significant bearing on the future strategy are shown in this figure :


*1 Manali Aromatics Complex

*2 Madras Export Processing Zone - II phase

*3 Electronics City


*4 North Madras Thermal Station

*5 Satellite Port

*6 Expansion to Madras Harbour

*7 Mass Rapid Transit system (MRTS)

*8 Rail Improvements Including New Terminal at Villivakkam

*9 Airport Improvements

*10 Koyambedu Wholesale Market


Large Sites and Services projects have been conceived under World bank aided Urban Development Projects. MUDPI generated 12000 units. In MUDP II, 10000 units were planned. Occupation at Manali is yet to commence. Under TNUDP 35000 units are planned. Those that will come it no occupation in next few years are :

1 Madavaram : (5000 units)

2 Manali : (4000 units)

3 Ambattur : (11000 units)

4 Avadi : (4000 units)

Select Economic Indicators of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
All India
Share of Tamil Nadu
Area (lac sq.kms) 1990 1.3032.87 3.95
Population (estimated) in Millions 1990 55.70822.00 6.78
Literacy Rate (%) 1981 46.8036.20 -
Net State Dom.Prod. (Rs.crores) (1980-1) 1987-88 10,461.00 52,017.00 6.88
Per Capita Income (Rs.) 1987-88 1,943.00 1,918.00 -
Agriculture & Allied Production
- Tea (000 tons) 1986 86.40648.90 13.31
- Coffee (000 tons) 1986 9.80166.00 5.90
- Milk (lac tons) 1986-87 33.00 444.70 7.42
- Fish (lac. tons) 1986-87 3.71 29.162.72
Registered Enterprises engaged in Non-agricultural Activities (000 Nos.) 1980 1,655.00 16,903.80 9.79
Factories in Manufacturing (nos.) 1986 11,823.00 1,74,913.00 6.76
Employment Generated (million) 1988 2.2018.03 12.20
Net State Domestic Production Manufacturing Sector at 1970-71 prices (Rs. lacs) 1986-87 1,04,119 10,01,657 10.39
Percapita Value added (Rs.) 1985-86 2,484.10 1,592.10 156.02
Loans in Production
a. Mill Sector (000 nos.) 1988 9.12199.14 4.58
b. Powerlooms - 173.04 900.54 19.22
c. Handlooms - 556.00 3,065.00 18.14
Production of Major Industries
- Tea (million kgs.) 1988 101.90 701.10 14.53
- Coffee (000 tons) 1988 8.00152.30 5.25
- Cotton Yam (000 tons) 1986 3.431,448.00 23.68
- Cotton Textiles (million mtrs.) 1988 166.90 4,157.10 4.01
- Two Wheelers (00 nos.) 1988 289.77 1,436.87 20.17
- Cars (nos.) 1988 4141,51,875.00 0.27
- Tractors (nos.) 1988 12,561.00 89,280.00 14.07
- Commercial Vehicles (nos.) 1988 18,172.00 1,10,201.00 16.49
- Railway Wagons Coaches (nos.) 1988 270.00 18,916.00 1.43
- Electronic Goods (Rs. crore) 1987 239.60 4,720.00 5.08
- Salt (lac tons) 1988 12.7094.10 13.50
Index of Relative Development of Infrastructure 1987-88 142 100.00 -
Installed Capacity of Power (MW) 1988-89 5,224.00 58,202.00 8.89
Generation of Power (million) 1988-89 17,851.00 2,01,894.00 8.84
Length of Railway Route (kms) 1987-88 3,937.00 61,976.00 6.35
Length of Surface Road (kms) 1988 81,878.00 7,31,114.00 11.20
Length of Coast Line (kms) 1984-85 912.00 5,600.00 16.28
No. of Registered Motor vehicles (lacs) 1988 10.05134.86 7.45
No. of Bank Offices 1988 4,045.00 53,565.00 7.55

Major Industrial units in Madras (Rs. in crore)
Year to
Addison & Co. Mar'90 55 1276Engineer's cutting tools
Addisons Paints & Chemicals Mar'90 26 490Paints and varnishes
Amalgamations Repco Mar'89 12 -Clutch dics, plates
Amrutanjan Mar'89 21 258Pain balm
Ashok Leyland Mar'90 690 9973Comm. vehicles, diesel engines
Audco India Mar'90 55 800Industrial valves
Balmer Lawrie & Co Dec'88 160 -Grease, drums, leather auxiliaries
Best & Crompton Mar'90 179 -Motors, pumps, busducts, lifts, valves
Britannia Industries Mar'89 355 1123Engineering
Bimetal Bearings Mar'90 28 -Bearings and bushings
Binny Jun'87 123- Textiles
Coromandel Engineering Mar'89 16 -Construction
Carborundum Universal Aug'88 64 1196Abrasives
Dunlop India Mar'89 408 2529Automotive tyres and tubes
EID Parry (India) Mar'90 189 3800Fertilisers,sugars,ceramics, eng.g
EI Forge Mar'89 9 -Engineering
Engine Valves Mar'89 31 1187Engine Valves
Enfield India Mar'89 54 -Two wheelers and agro engines
English Electric Mar'89 61 3157Control panels, fuse gears
Ennore Foundries Mar'90 77 -Castings
Facit Asia Mar'90 32 595Typewriters and office equipment
Greaves Chitram Mar'89 6 -Coordinate measuring machines
India Pistons Mar'90 58 2284Pistons, rings, pins
KCP Group Mar'90 150 1082Sugar, cement, heavy machinery
Kothari Industrial Corporation Mar'89 70 -Textiles, Plantations
Kothari Sugars Nov'89 14 -Sugars petrochemicals
L&T-ECC Construction Mar'90 340 3465Construction
Lucas - TVS Mar'90 125 2888Auto electricals
L&T McNeil Mar'90 36 -Tyre plant machinery
Madras Fertilizers Mar'90 217 -Fertilizers
Madras Refineries Mar'90 1400 -Petroleum products
Madras Industrial Linings Mar'88 4 -Industrial lining
MRF Mar'90 571- Automotive tyres and tubes
Pond's (India) Mar'89 106 1279Cosmetics, leather products, clinical thermometers
Rane (madras) Mar'89 33 1013Clutch plates, steering rods
Rane Brake Linings Mar'89 24 637Brake linings
Secals Mar'90 11 641Steel castings
Simpson & Company Mar'90 77 2200Diesel engines
S & S Power Switchgear Mar'90 30 -Switchgear
S R P Tools Mar'89 6 153Tools
Sundaram Abex Mar'89 10 373Brake linings
Sundaram Clayton May'89 54 1345Air actuated brake systems, railway signalling equipment
Sundaram Fasteners Mar'90 92 1304Industrial fasteners
Tamil Nadu Petroproducts Dec'88 102 -LAB
Tractors and Farm Equipment Mar'90 248 -Tractors & agricultural implements
TI Diamond Chain Dec'88 14 -Automotive and industrial chains
Tube Investments of India Dec'88 165 -Cycles, cycle parts, metal sections
Tamil Nadu Dhada Mar'90 29 -Pharmaceuticals

Note: List not exhaustive nor details fully complete. Complied by INDUSTRIAL ECONOMIST, S-15 Industrial Estate, Guindy, Madras - 600 032.

Please send comments to Email < >.

To Bioethics in India book contents
To Eubios Ethics Institute books
To Eubios Ethics Institute home page