Canals as Commons

The current situation of canals in Alappuzha clearly reflects the tragedy of commons where neither the state nor the market has been uniformly successful in solving common pool resource problems. Once known to be the lynchpin of the economy of Alleppey around which this beautiful town was planned is now rotting down from its core. These canals were arteries of Alleppey running all the trade, import-export and people’s living but eventually, the collective action of the people have resulted in making canals look like big drains, stuffed with solid/liquid waste and weeds, failing the sole purpose of the canals and its heritage.

In contrast to the proposition of the tragedy of the commons’ argument, common pool problems sometimes are solved by voluntary organizations or institutions rather than by a coercive state. 

The Canalpy project is one such programme initiated by IIT Bombay and KILA to rejuvenate the lost heritage of the Canals. It aims at mobilizing the people and youth to take initiative and to design support management institutions at more than one level

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