Storm Water drains are crucial to a city’s health. Unfortunately, unplanned urbanisation, indiscriminate disposal of garbage and sewage, encroachments, industrial discharges, further complicate and add to the stress and create distress. 

I stood, transfixed
At the sight of the drain
Choking in the things we discard
I stood, immobile,
At the sight of the drain,
Experiencing the view,
Discomforting, disconcerting
I questioned, like everyone else
Who is to blame?
Were we to assume that our
Crime scene and spilled secrets,
Will it wash away with the rain?
I stood, wondering
Were we an unsuspecting accessory?
Were we delusional, in thinking
Nothing is wrong!
But  are the encroachments the only fault?
Why is there no respite, from urban flooding?
Why the purposeful avoidance?
What are we unseeing?
I stood, transfixed
At the sight of the drain
Desolate and dreary,
The stink of the garbage
The coloured waters,
Lying scorched,
Yet, taken for granted,
Absorbed into the drain of nothingness…
I stood, transfixed
At the sight of the drain
At the sight of the greens, in the middle
Of the rubbish,
An oddity, but one of hope
Of free flowing waters…
I stood, transfixed
At the sight of the drain,
Yet there is story to be told,
That moves past grim newspaper reports,
Blame games and frothing lakes…
There is a story to be told,
That moves past the act of cleaning and beautifying,
The moves past man-made constructions,
I stood, transfixed
At the sight of the drain,
Yet there is a story to be told…

– Pinky Chandran

The project As the drain goes maps the Koramangala Valley pathway in Bangalore (from Majestic to Bellandur lake) and looks at the communities residing along the line, with a special focus on garbage from water and sanitation interplay and urban flooding vulnerability. 

It is important to look deeper into the network and bring to light who resides and where, and look at the power, privilege angle, along with those who are experiencing voice poverty and to be able to bring to light the narratives from the ground. The project predominantly uses photography as a tool for engagement, in the form of a virtual photo exhibition, poetry performance, public narrative, workshop and articles.

By Nalini Shekar, Pinky Chandran and Citizen Matters

Start Date: August 2021

Contact: Nalini Shekar:, Pinky Chandran:

Status Report & Updates:

The project has been completed.

On Citizen Matters:

  • A historical lens on Bengaluru’s drains

  • Lack of stormwater drain planning has led to Bengaluru’s flooding

  • Faulty execution in BBMP SWD works has led to floods

  • Do we need a reimagination of our storm water drains?

  • Making of the K-100 Citizen Waterway project

  • The K-100 drain tour

  • Waste and Drain Nexus: Centering Inequalities

  • Providing waste services to low income communities

Newspaper articles:



Events where the project was presented:

Events co-hosted at:

Upcoming Events:

  • University of Washington’s Grand Challenges Impact Lab (GCIL) – January 2022

Open to:
Drain Tours | Communication Workshops | Collaborative Research on other drains in the city | Setting up a Network for Drain Stewards