As the Drain Goes will map sources of waste coming into the Koramangala Valley Pathway in Bangalore and its impact on the communities living along the line.

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 deary,
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

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. As the drain goes,  proposes to map the Koramangala Valley pathway in Bangalore ( from Majestic to Bellandur lake) and look 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 will predominantly use photography as a tool for engagement , in the form of a photo exhibition, public narrative and articles

By Nalini Shekar, Pinky Chandran and Citizen Matters

Start Date: August 2021

Contact: Nalini Shekar:, Pinky Chandran:

Status Report & Updates:

  • Photographs of all the locations have been complete
  • Secondary Research is complete
  • Informal interviews around the drains in majority of the locations have been complete
  • Social Media Campaign was launched  on Pinky Chandran and Waste Frames handle. 
  • Interviews with key stakeholders in progress –  ( BBMP, KSPCB, BDA, Citizen Activists and Academicians and Historians . 
  • Waste Narratives in LR Nagar/ Adugodi scheduled in probable partnership with local groups such as TAICT, Hasiru Dala, SWMRT, Creative Mornings Bangalore
  • Ongoing Photo Essays in Citizen Matters and Waste Frames 
  • Photo Exhibition and TownHall meeting will be scheduled in the coming months

Visit the project blog at

Newspaper articles:

Some events where the project was presented: