CANALPY is a joint initiative by IIT Bombay and KILA in Alappuzha and Kuttanad, Kerala

We strive for reclaiming Alappuzha’s canals by promoting a decentralised, financially and socially sustainable, equitable model of sanitation which can be applied in small towns across Kerala, and potentially India – in the face of increasing institutional trends towards centralisation.

In Kuttanad, our work is based on a disaster resilience framework, by equipping residents to ‘live with the flood’ in a changing global climate. This is achieved by local livelihood based activities which encourage capacity building at the level of local body.


Alappuzha, one of the first planned towns in India, has several geographic peculiarities which make the situation uniquely challenging. Intertwined with a man-made canal system consisting of 3 main canals and 104 sub-canals, the town lacks any form of conventional centralised sewerage system. High water table and the relatively flat topography make such systems unsuitable for deployment. Over decades, the canal system has shown visible degradation due to solid and liquid waste dumping.​


Kuttanad, a biogeographic region covering 3 districts of Kerala, is globally known for its geographical peculiarities. Renowned for its vast paddy fields, and intricate network of canals and backwaters, Kuttanad is one of the few regions of the world where farming is carried out 1-3 metres below sea level.Agriculture is the mainstay of the population but over time, changing developmental aspirations and tourism potential have also put the pressure of population and unsustainable, unsuitable building typologies on the Kuttanad region.

our Work

Our work in Alappuzha

Canal rejuvenation through decentralised sanitation

Our team has been working in Alappuzha since November 2017. Check out an overview of activities and details here.

Our work in Kuttanad

Living with flood

We have also been working in Nedumudy Panchayat in Kuttanad with a focus on disaster resilience, to equip residents to ‘live with the flood’ in a changing climate.

Our Knowledge bank

Open access data about Alappuzha

We have acquired a wealth of information about the physical character of the canal system, and socioeconomic data and sanitation practices of households and institutions across Alappuzha.

The CANALPY Campaign

The CANALPY Campaign is an ongoing effort since April 2018 to mobilise the efforts of youth and general public of Alappuzha to reclaim the canals through a citizen driven effort. Till date, there have been multiple campaigns. Watch our campaign video here. 

Get in touch

We are here

3rd Floor, KSCMMC, Chungam, Alappuzha
Phone:+91 9920234856