NOTE: As of October 2011, the Chennai Corporation area has expanded beyond the boundaries shown on this map. All the existing wards and zones have been reorganized for the October 2011 local body elections. For updated information, check the Chennai Corporation website (if it works)
Its just amazing the amount of gaping wide holes you find in the infromation that is made available to the public by our govt agencies. The lowest level of governance happens to be the civic agencies and the public is provided absolutely no information on how to approach them.
The city of Chennai is divided into 155 divisions or wards in 10 zones. All the civic works in an area is carried out from the ward office of the ward it falls in. In this office sits the councillor that you elected(or in most cases, you didnt bother to vote at all) who is supposed to listen to your grievances, the junior engineer who manages all the work and a host of other people who are paid tax money to walk along the corridors, drink tea and do nothing particularly productive. Why? because no one knows where the godamn office is! Why, people dont even know what division they belong to, the constituency, councillor, mla or even if they are within chennai city or not. Its really not a surprise that our cities are in the sad state that they are in, there just isnt anyone who tries to find out if the people who are supposed to be working for us even exists. And to top it all we groan about problems day in day out blaming the people in charge(but we dont know who they are or even bother to find out). I’m not really sure who’s to blame here.
As a first step i thought i would make a corporation ward map to help one locate the division you fall in.The funny thing is that the corporation themselves dont have a map with such detail. They rely on some badly drawn cad maps which are not even to scale, and they are charged 700 bucks by the cad agency each time they want a print. Talk about money going down an unsilted drain.
The map was made with data that i mined from the maps released in the cmda masterplan documents. I have sent a copy to the corporation to put it up on their website, but i havent got a response yet. Till then you can get it here
Btw the OSM project has been creating quite a buzz after my session at barcamp. Check out the Chennai project page and join in on the mapping. I’ll have my presentation up soon.