Bengaluru Lakes Produce Never Before Seen Levels of Toxic Froth

By Julia Proctor

The capital of India's southern Karnataka state has for many years suffered from heavily polluted lakes. For a significant amount of time the water in the area has fallen victim to becoming recipient of chemical waste dumped by nearby factories. This is alongside also being the dumping ground for untreated sewage, including that of human waste. This poisonous concoction over the years has resulted in the permanent fixture of a toxic froth upon the lake's surfaces. 

In August this year, the city experienced its heaviest rain-pour in over a century. This resulted in the acceleration of the froths growth, producing never before seen levels of the toxic substance.

It has been reported that the foam rose to an astonishing 10ft in the Varthur Lake. Spilling over the tall fence put in place to act as a defensive measure for the Whitefield Road that sits alongside it. The Bellandur Lake's toxic froth is also reported to have affected nearby roads, many motorists claiming the foam caused disruptions to their journeys.

These increased levels of toxic froth are just the beginning of the problems caused by the heavy downpours. The rain that fell has also resulted in the flooding of roads, and cars parked in low-lying areas. Homes in the area have also experienced the misfortune of the flood waters reaching their doors, carrying with it, the contaminated froth.

Residents of the city have also been warned to remain indoors on health grounds. This is due to the alarming quantities of froth appearing around the city, causing increased levels of toxicity within the area.

This is not the first time Bengaluru's toxic rivers have made worldwide news. Back in February the Bellandur Lake became the epicentre of a fire that broke out due to the waste and chemicals that inhabit it, catching ablaze. Not for the first time either. The February fire burned for a total of 12 hours, fire-fighters in the area at a loss as how to diminish the wild flames. This disaster too held great consequences for Bengaluru as harmful toxins were released in the process.

Earlier this year, the National Green Tribunal directed the Karnataka government to take action and fix the problem of pollution in the lakes of the city. This advisement is becoming ever more stressed as a study conducted on the lakes uncovered horrifying predictions for the capital's future.

The study concluded that if the situation at hand continues to occur, a major water crisis will transpire in Bengaluru by 2025. This will mean that the city may become uninhabitable, residents forced to evacuate their homes.

Due to levels of pollution increasing within the lakes, earlier this year experts were called in from Britain and Israel to study the problem. Their simple and only solution believed to have any effect on minimising the already done damage, was to immediately stop all pollutants from entering the water.

This solution is much easier said than done however. As the lakes have become such a normalised place in which waste is disposed of, strict and proper law enforcement will be required to ensure all pollution is prevented from happening.

The Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, spoke out on Thursday about the issue. He declared that the state government was ''taking all necessary actions'' in resolving the situation. This being said, the time line in which he proposed for the action has caused concern for many. Siddaramaiah claimed that a solution for the toxic froth and pollution of the lakes will be reached within one to two years.

It is without doubt that relief has come to many that the pollutant problem plaguing Bengaluru for many years is finally being discussed. Although this is certainly a step in the right direction, many fear that it is too little too late.



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