We are living on this planet as if it were just a temporary residence. So we think, it is okay for us to trash it as we please. After all, there will be someone to clean up. But that attitude clearly stinks and couldn’t be further from the truth.Bengaluru was once known for its pleasant, moderate environment, the kind of place where people went to relax. But in April 2015, a lake in Bengaluru bubbled up and spontaneously caught fire — it was a side of the city everyone had seen but chosen to neglect. Rapid urbanisation has wreaked havoc with the city’s infrastructure and system and after a short lull, the frothing, inflammable lakes are back.
The fire started due to toxic waste that was being dumped into the lake by not just the garbage mafia but also by the citizens.
Chemical Foam frm once beautiful varthur lake in bangalore coming out to streets. Swatchh Bharat. Nthr lk cught fire. pic.twitter.com/ELrgSGX5o5— (OfficeOf)FoolProof (@RachnaRch) May 18, 2015
The Varthur lake, which reportedly is one of the largest lakes in Bengaluru, started froth and it spread onto the road. It eventually had spread across the locality as reported by The Hindu .
Presently, the lake acts as a makeshift landfill which is used by the common citizens as well as a “garbage mafia” of construction companies. Ammonia and phosphorus have saturated the oxygen-depleted lake because of the detergents, oil, and grease found in the area’s industrial waste, as reported by The Times O f India .
The lake gets 400-500 million litres of untreated sewage each day. Research on foaming bacteria in sewage shows that it’s common for foam to build up at activated sludge sewage treatment plants around the world and sometimes overnight foaming occurs due to the presence of fats, oils, and aeration failure in the liquid. This toxic mixture creates an atmosphere for the water body to produce massive amounts of foam as reported by Deccan Herald .
Not Varthur Lake. This is Bellandur Lake! Same; pollution led foaming. Bangalore paying the price for ‘development’. pic.twitter.com/ni4g3uqbfO— Karthik Srinivasan (@beastoftraal) May 12, 2015
Days in Bengaluru become even worse when it rains. T he mass of lather in the canal rises so high that it lands on the roads and causes inconvenience to those travelling on two wheels. From the glimpses received on Twitter, it looked more like a snowy day that a rainy one.
A Scroll.in report explained that Bengaluru was once known for its inter-connected lake system that provided it with a reliable form of drainage.
Right now, the city’s lakes contain toxic oil and phosphorus. The residents of Bengaluru have taken to social media to save the lake. But will that help?
There was a clearing of the water hyacinth some time back, but the froth is back. And even now when the cleaning is done, it is mostly done by the locals. The authorities are just not moving in time and that perhaps is an indication of why Bengaluru is doomed . An online petition ‘Clean Up Bellandur Lake’ started by a City-based software engineer on Change.org has gathered close to 15,000 supporters for the cause — so head over and lend them a helping hand. Bengaluru can surely do better.
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