Bangalore lakes don’t have water fit for drinking

Pollution has finally caught up with Bangalore’s water too. It seems we’re not far from the Mad Max-esque dystopian future where cancer and tumor-ridden survivors are ready to shed blood for a drop of the life-giving neer. I wonder what will become of Bangalore, probably overgrown jungle that drives the Geiger counter crazy. Anyway, the real reason I wrote this entry is because of the alarming putridity of the water bodies.

The Environmental Management & Policy Research Institute (EMPRI), a two-year project, has made a roster of all the 1,518 water bodies in and around Bangalore. Finally, some concern for the environment! These guys studied about 65 attributes to better classify the state of the water bodies. The grim news is, almost 44% of the 1,518 water sources have vanished.

Here’s the surprising part. The sources were graded on the basis of how water can be used. Around 85% of the water sources were grouped in Class E, water that is fit for irrigation and industrial cooling. This is the lowest water division. About 13% of them were put in Class D, which deems water fit for fish farming and wildlife propagation. The remaining 2% were grouped in class C, which labels the water dirty but treatable to make it potable.

None of the lakes were tested fit for bathing and drinking. I think Bangalore has lost its title of ‘Kalyananagar’ (literally ‘the city of good fortune’).

It’s mostly the solid wastes that have ruined the lakes. More than 33 lakes in Bangalore are tainted by plastic, polythene, batteries, and a host of toxic wastes expelled by industries. The whole scene has attracted vermin to nest, and spread their filth in the already contaminated water. Let’s not forget the sewage. I’ve seen water treatment plants abroad converting sewage into 99.99% clean and drinkable water. Sad to see we don’t have such a system.

Anyways, maybe what I’ll say will go in vain. But I am confident some of you readers will strictly observe what I am suggesting. Go to your nearest lake with your friends and family, start cleaning! That’ll surely make a difference somewhere. Let’s hope the government installs efficient cleaning systems. And remember, save water!

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