Nizhal - Neer Vanam

Greening and Eco restoration of Lakes, Rivers and Water Bodies


The gracious city of Chennai was once known as ‘Neernilai Maanagaram’ or the ‘City of Water bodies’! Nizhal, a Trust that focuses on preserving local bio-diversity through sensitive greening processes and working with communities, has embarked on a community driven program of eco restoration of waterbodies across Chennai. The Chitlapakkam Lake on 3rd Main Road, Chitlapakkam, is the first water body to be taken up.

Significance of Neer Vanam creation: 

  • Creation of green corridor around the water bodies will be a bio-shield that will provide strength to the bunds/banks and prevent breaching during floods.
  • Through eco restoration by planting dwindling indigenous tree species, the local biodiversity is restored creating a healthy habitat for all living communities.
  • Helps in conserving aquatic ecosystem and facilitate better water management system. 
  • Acts as a protective barrier that prevents access to heavy vehicles that drain pollutants into the water. 

This project was initiated in 2010 and first phase  completed on 6th February 2016  and the second phase  on 17th July 2016.

The initiative has drawn a tremendous response from the residential communities in the area. More than 80 members are involved in the social media group monitoring the activities. Every alternate day, a committed volunteer group waters the 200 tree saplings! On weekends, there are more volunteers who join for tree care sessions. The success of this model lies in synergy of Government, Corporates and Community as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and can be replicated around water bodies in Kancheepuram and Chennai district.

Residents of Chitlapakkam/ adjoining areas and interested volunteers are urged to  be part of this landmark initiative. To participate in Watering and Tree Care activities on weekend mornings, please reach out to 98409 04621 / 8870005455.


To participate in or organize a tree walk, write to