Bengaluru: It is an alarming wake-up call for the state government, the civic body, as well as the citizens of Bengaluru as a study by BBC, has stated that the IT city could be the first modern city in India to run out of drinking water.
The report by BBC has claimed that the situation at Cape Town is just the tip of the iceberg and has listed 11 cities across the world that could run out of drinking water. Bengaluru ranks second in the list, after Brazil Sao Paulo and above China capital Beijing. The other cities on the grim list are Cairo, Jakarta, Moscow, Istanbul, Mexico City, London, Tokyo and Miami.
The report states that Bengaluru has seen a massive growth of infrastructure as the city rises in ranks as a technological hub and civic bodies are left struggling to manage the clean drinking water and the sewage system. The old-fashioned and badly managed plumbing has led to the city losing over half of its drinking water.
A report in the Times of India had stated that over 80% of the urban households in Karnataka are covered by PWS—42.74 lakh of the 53.15 lakh households have it—rural parts are struggling to access water. As on December 28, 2017, just 43% (33.92 lakh) of the 78.6 lakh households were covered under the system. The Karnataka government’s promises to deliver drinking water in every household still remain a mere pipe dream.
Karnataka government has admitted that the availability of water per person per day will be 88 litres by 2031 when Bengaluru’s population will touch 20 million. The Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation has stated that each person needs 135 litres a day. Bengaluru’s lakes used to have a capacity of 35 tmcft of water in 1800 and now it is reduced to 2 tmcft. One tmcft of water serves the need of 6 lakh people a year. The population of Bengaluru, as of 2017, stands at approximately 12 lakh.
Though it has a number of lakes in the city, 85% of them had waters that can be used only for irrigation and industrial cooling.
Moreover, Bengaluru’s ever-frothing lakes also remain a cause of concern. In the past 12 months, Bellandur and Varthur lakes have caught fire on multiple occasions. In addition, the lakes have frothed several times with froth making its way to adjoining streets and localities.