Writer & Geek Episode 68: Water Crisis in Bangalore



hey welcome to another episode of retro and geek show we are your host Shankar and Vishnu yeah now that you wouldn't get confused anymore yeah that's why we thought we'll start with video this time and experiment a little bit awkward at all we are not feeling awkward at all and and this seems to be quite natural it seems to come quite natural for us yeah it's like you know we are born to do this exactly I think I know we have had a lot of requests coming in saying that we should start doing video but I never thought it would be so difficult to do this yeah but we have taken the first step hopefully it'll go you know in the direction we expected to yeah so yeah I mean it was easy for us to fool people seem saying that you are in our studio and we are recording this down you know now they can really see where we are at but this has a lot of drawbacks man like I can't pick my nose anymore yeah you need to be more decent that's it yeah and so anyway let's jump right into the episode so this episode we're going to talk about something we are facing currently we are in the sense the people in Bangalore so we are facing a crisis right now in the form of water shortage mm-hmm so this has been going on for some time and there are a lot of people who have been getting water using water trucks and all that right and it's just getting worse and worse so I thought you know why don't we just check out what's happening here and how severe the case is because even in our area a few months back when there was like you know proper drought kind of setting we also had to like get a few tankers to fill up our tanks yeah so I was wondering you know I'll just delve into it and you know figure out what's going wrong yeah I think you have probably given a complete overview about what the problem is and this as you can see is a little deviation from what we do we generally find out some interesting topic and go deep into it this we want to do this because of as we were researching and reading about this and we came across certain you know articles and documentaries and stuff this is really a scary thing and if someone thinks that we are very safe and this is a thing that is coming in the future we are very wrong because we don't have many number of years before Bangalore is gonna run out of water and recently a Chen a was in news because Chennai kind of completely went dry you know with water at all the event without a rain for 200 days 200 and even after they got some rain it it's not that great – and even in bangles this year rains have not been that great it's been you know once in a while kind of a thing whereas this is mid of June right more than more than half of June is passed and still we don't have the range that we should be expecting at this point and it was a lot more warm or this year that you know how it used to be so we'll start with talking about how Bangalore was and you know compare it but yeah I think I can talk a little bit about Bangalore I think we used to visit biannual once in a while because we had our cousins and our you know uncle has been here since a long time so I remember during school days during vacations we used to come here and my memory of bangle and we used to usually come sometime in October December this time right and my memory of Bangalore is this very beautiful cold mornings with you know with mist and sometimes the they used to be fog and stuff and it used to be this very cold beautiful morning with law they had a we had a lot of gardens and parks those days green misty mornings and you know we used to go for walks and there were a lot of lakes and stuff so that is a bangle that I had seen growing up and that was a bangle or I always thought I would come back to because as a kid I wanted to get a job and come to Bangalore and settle down yeah it was truly a land of God like it was a city of gardens city and also like a land of lakes city of so a city of lakes yeah so that was the thing but we are talking about 90s into the early 2000 yeah what I'm yeah right I remember specifically remember coming back in 99 year 99 I stayed here for few we all stayed here for few days and I used to go for walks with my with our cousins right it used to be so beautiful and I always used to think you know if I'm settling down somewhere this is a place that's gonna be what happen yeah it didn't happen so yeah but what I'm talking about is like little more for the back somewhere around like 60s and 70s interesting fact did you know that Winston Churchill visited Bangalore in 1890s oh he did come to India yeah I didn't know that yeah so he we sit at Bangalore and he loves the place because you know it's almost like a hill station kind of place and you have you know a climate which is almost comparable with European ones right and it actually extended up to like 70s and 60s and 70s it seems so I read one article which is written by a native man Gloria and she was talking about the time when she grew up which was like 60s and 70s and she was like you know what back then it was like the home of the place where retired people come and settle right and you know spontaneous pension was paradise and she was talking about how people after getting married this used to be a place where you they used to come and you know enjoy their honeymoon and all that so it was almost like you know you can compare the climate of Bangalore with Western countries or with what ut and Korea so it was back then it was like that and they were like lot of water bodies around like 280 lakes and what is that there were like less people back then right so in the 70s they have we had around like 1.6 2 million people in Bangalore which has increased by in 2012 we have we had 9 million so from 1.6 to in 1970s we had 9 million in 2009 and by 2018 it reached 11 and by 2030 it is expected to be at 20 million right so we came to Bangalore in 2009 so I think it was just shy of about 9 million that time ah yeah grab in somewhere around 8 7 and 8 so so what we are hearing is that by 2030 we would be like you know one of the 50 percent people who were already here you know like yeah we are like proper bang laureates way that that is still 11 more years to go which would be little bit more than what we have already seen yeah so what we can see is like from 1970 to like 2000 there were like a twin a to two hundred and forty four percent increase in population and from 2000 to 2011 it was like it grew by 47 percent it's still not stopping because being the Silicon Valley and the opportunity that you get here people are just coming from all across the country you know to make their dreams come true you know what the thing the the the main thing to think about is it's not just the IT Crowd that's coming in for a city to set up for IT like we have lot of IT companies even I work for one of them there's a lot of support system that comes in you know you need more restaurants and you need more let's say shops and stuff so there are more traders coming in more people coming in working for restaurants so it's not just the IT Crowd the crowd and the engineers who are coming in there's a lot of other section of the society which comes in as well for support services and even we have a lot of farmers trying drive close to the city so that you know they can sell their products for higher prices because it's a city which is booming and all this is contributing to the you know inflow of a great amount of population every single day yeah and with the increase of population yes we do need a lot of natural resources to sustain and one of those resources water and yeah it has gone up you know shot up a lot the requirement of water but the problem is that with people coming in at an alarming rate rate we need more land to for them to settle so what has happened is is like they were like 280 water bodies 280 plus water bodies in 1970s but currently we have only 80 so where the hell did all these things vanish well I think we can especially the place where we used to stay earlier JP never side right they used to be this lake and I put an early lake is what it was called there was so much land being encroached that the one side of the entire lake was covered with apartments and stuff and I remember there was a drive where you know Kahneman kind of tried to demolish Hill all of those houses it got stopped Midway I think there was some appeal or something yeah where will they go to later you can't I don't know he's like my son builder buys the land and he sells it to someone and these people who have no idea about the history of that land come in buy buy these apartments and in the end they'll get interest off cause they don't look at you know who authorized it or who owns it and what you have to do they won't have proper papers also that's right so that kind of stuff happens and you know yeah so from 280 the number of water bodies had decreased you like 80 and most of these places now we have high-rise buildings or stadiums or like other facilities I think which is at continuous state and zero Cascadia stadium is built on a lake which actually you know baffled me like seriously so yeah around like 80% of the city is filled with concrete you know you have a concrete jungle now which is actually stopped water from you know going underneath and replenishing there's no no matter how wasting that is happening because yeah like the thing is like rainwater harvesting has been made a mandatory thing to do but you never know like how many people are following it right especially you know land and cultures they will just build and you know never think about it they'll just sell it off and go after I think the major builders and all I think they take care of it but silly you have no idea how many of them get away with it right so the groundwater level is being depleted there's one more reason why that groundwater level is reducing at an alarming rate so most of the countries in the world like especially like the western side they all get water from you know water bodies but here in India there is a culture especially in kala and all that with every home you have one well right that's right so what we are doing is like we are actually you up the groundwater right so in in Bangalore right now we have like there's a trend that whenever you build a building or like you have a poor well poor well which comes along with that so it is said that every day there are like six people who are applying for permission to get a verbal duct for their you know property so with more borewell the what we are doing is like we are drinking up all the water yeah from the ground and the water table yeah and the water table goes down so now so just to just to explain what water table is so underneath the ground there's a water let the there is ground water right the level of water is called water table so with more usage of this ground water that the level goes down that means you have to dig deeper and deeper and deeper to get that same amount of water yeah what was the water table like like 10 years ago so ten years ago interesting fact it was around like you know 200 300 feet that means you have to drink dig 200 300 feet to find water and currently it's around like 10 times more I don't like 2,000 feet man that means in some time it's gonna be you have to dig one kilometer down the soil to reach water probably you won't get it there too you know I probably will just deplete it on a whole you know it'll become an extinct thing mmm I don't know man so there has been like a 10 / 10 10 times increase in decrease in water table in the water table yeah so what attributes to this so the digging of bore wells is one of the major issue which has led to this and when I dug up deep about this the thing is that there are like the there were not like proper regulations set for you know how many bore wells you can have in a vicinity and all that so over the past 10 years people whenever they build home or like someone get a new property they'll just big bow bells and they'll use it up so naturally the water table has decreased and it has been at its lowest right now so talking about builders and that part where you have a lot of land which were actually the body's being turned into a high-rise building and apartment complexes and all that where do you get all the materials to make all these buildings you need sand right so there have been like many illegal activities when it happening when it comes to sand mining so these encroachers they'll go and take sand from all these water bodies from the lake basin and all that and it has actually reduced the capacity of these water bodies – you know retain water right so that has also led to the decrease of water bodies from 280 to like 80 percent and one interesting fact is that even though we have around like 80 water bodies majority of these things are like so polluted that we can't even be well been wondering well under lake is one classic I think it's a international phenomenon right now because I was watching I was as we were doing research for this episode I was you know going through YouTube to find some related videos and stuff I saw one French TV channel they had a news piece on Pelham dude Lake we were talking about how this this city called the Silicon Valley of India Bangalore had a lake on which there was this you know it has his white foam coming out of it and I have personally seen that I was driving to office once I was taking a different route so I saw this coming out of the lake and onto the road and all that and once in a while it catches fire as well yeah I've seen it a few times so one of the interesting stories that have I read about the spell in the lake is that there is this lady who lived you know around like 20 30 years in u.s. so the house she had there was like next to a lake right and she had this amazing view and she was like when I come back to like Bangalore I want you next to you I made sure that I could get the lake view then she and I'm not joking I think I have seen a lake view apartment right next to bellend or Lake it's called Lake View I know where you're coming to yeah so she she bought a apartment which is right next to bill in those so that she can have a proper view right and now she regrets it she has a proper view she has a proper view and it's like every other date Kansas's or catches fire as it does and it's dangerous as well and sometimes it starts smelling so bad that the smell won't go for like five days or something like so they're likes so much of industrial you know waste and affluence all those things which are like sent into that water body that its first it's not let's not talk about your drinking we are not supposed to even bathe in it and not even supposed to breathe those yes you enjoy coming here and you know this also brings up an interesting topic because I had a conversation with one of my colleagues and he's he's from Bangalore and he settled here and he has his own house and stuff so I was just telling him you know the expectations that are set by the relatives the moment you come to Bangalore and you settle down with a job they're like oh now you have to get an apartment or a house here and all that they always think about oh now that you're settled in life you have good income next thing you need to do is buy a house and settle down in Bangalore so he was giving me advice he's like dude listen to me and you will thank me in 10 years if you if you really listen to what I'm saying I have a house here never buy a house in Bangalore that's what he said and I think it makes sense because if things are going the way it is right now in maybe by 2025 this would be a city which which would be very difficult to live in you look at the traffic you look at the water depletion and stuff like that you're just putting yourself into a place which CI will really love Bangalore Bangalore is my most favorite city okay and as I said I used to dream about coming to my I I don't regret it you know it has given me everything that I have right now but is it a place that you want to settle down and live next 50 years of your life probably not so I'm just you know from – paradise exactly so I do you really want to settle down here so I am thinking so when I am having this discussion about buying a property apartment parabola and all that my mind is saying that you should move as much away from cities right if you really want a place to live out your rest of your life find a place somewhere deep enough you know a place where you can breathe the air yeah live here pay rent whatever it is go once you're done just go back oh yeah so how does that is my thought I'm not wishing this into someone else if you dot you know what if you have recently bought a house good this is this you know we'll take it all back it's all fine it's yeah yeah so getting back to the point we Bangalore okay so the water in Bangalore is supplied by this organization called Bangalore water supply and savage board ws is behind so on an average they supply 1.4 billion litres of water wholly to the CP Wow okay and guess what it does not satisfy satisfy our needs still it still does some 800 million yeah we are lacking by 800 billion so that means we need two point two billion liters yes and one issue with you know pumping this water mmm from most yeah so the thing is like we get this water from Kaveri okay cough a high people from Tamil Nadu you know what you're talking about yeah so most of this water it's pumped from Kaveri and it takes around like six million dollars or something in electricity charges to like pump it into the city six million per month every month yeah so that's how much it cost and the funny thing is that during transit around like 40 percent of this water leaks – yeah so via v4 the what is that yeah be wssb they are pumping 1.4 billion litres of water into the city every day into the city every day and 40% of it leaks and after 40% leaks we still have a deficit of like you know 800 million leaders observe that 40% is not leaking via good right probably so all you need to do is go and fix those lis you know how what happens when you are trying to fix those leaks right you can see you know just get out of there and you can see the main rotors yeah so next time when you you know swear at the people who are fixing the pipeline outside your house just remember this they're just trying to fix the leaks don't be angry at them let them fix the leaks and you know try to save some more water yeah so that's the general statistics of how much water we need and how much water we are getting and the rest of the needs are satisfied by water tanks a tank or so that is so yeah what I came to know is that by 2012 they were like lot of places in Whitefield which do does not you know get water and if they ran out of water and they are relying on water tanks since then and they should they would be charging exorbitant Ria's so whenever it's not just in Whitefield it seems so whenever there is the summer and you know you you're you don't get water at the right time and you're like calling for this tankers so what they do is like even they are getting this water from bore wells right yeah and you know how bad the conditions of bore wells are you can't actually blame them but still you can blame them for just exploiting the situation is something so what they're doing is like or do one tank would be around like 500 bucks now they're charging up to like 700 800 and even up to like 1400 rupees for like one tank and the thing is that when one of the tanker guy was interviewed he said that earlier like probably like five six years back from a bore well they used to get probably like 10 tanks of water every day but now it has reduced like three or four so what can they do they can't do anything so what they do is like who they'll auction it off whoever pays the more pays more money they'll sell it to them and when it comes to sea water is something that is absolutely necessary and necess in life necessary it's a basic necessity right and you cannot put a price to it so you cannot you know if you're not ready to pay there is always someone else who wants it that's what and our reliance on groundwater is what is what it's missing right up and we don't now that we don't have like water bodies which are like serving proper drinking water that's another issue so we have to rely on Kaveri we're sorry we're sorry people from Tamil Nadu we have to rely on Kaveri and it has to be pumped from you know where cow areas right my sir Monday on it has to travel around like hundred kilometres and come to Bangalore so it's an uphill battle so and one of the one other issue why this is happening is like there are like lot of subsidies when it comes to agriculture and all that right for irrigation the free electricity and water so what sometimes this farm these farmers do is like they'll just leave it open and we like yeah I let my crops get proper water so that is another issue which is let me do this but it's not a major issue but how we are using it and how we are like exploiting the groundwater and how we treat the water bodies has all culminated in this thing including they increase number of people migrating to the city so at this rate Bangalore is set to deplete its groundwater by 2020 that is next year next year yes well time to look for an on site so what we as what we are saying is that you know what bore wells will dry up and we'll have to rely on Kaveri water or on the trucks which are providing water at you know higher cost so one other issue we are facing because of water crisis like it's an indirect indirect effect where farmers are using this polluted water from you know lndhu lake or something I'm not sure if it's balanced or but they are using this water for irrigation so what happens here is that these polluted water which gets into the food stream and we are chillie having food which is poison right so they actually go to the market saying that you know it's made out of water which is pure but they have to lie to our faces because they also have to live right yeah I think we all understand the seriousness of this and at least in my life the change a lot of changes have happened after I started researching about this I stopped taking shower and using the shower I am just you know feeling water in the bucket and taking shower because that will make sure that you're not wasting water you're just using enough water to take shower I urge everybody to do that because every single drop that you can save you know it is water saved so if you are not if you are not realized we are in deep trouble at this point I think what can be done may be severe punishment for the encroachers you know cleaning of lakes and other water bodies and you know treating the water that comes out of industries and all that before they let into lakes and all those things yeah so a couple of facts like by in turn international standard every person should get around like 150 liters of water every day but what we are getting is like around hundred max and we use around like 20 liters for like flushing and you know drinking and all that and the rest of the water is used for like washing your car or those kind of stuff so we can actually if you put put an effort right we can actually reduce the amount of water which we actually use and there are other things like you know you can start rainwater harvesting because because now we have like around eighty percent of the city being like a concrete jungle there's no way for water to penetrate and go inside so even if we look at our home the surrounding place it's all concrete right so what I cannot go go down and you know replenish the groundwater so that's one thing which we have to like start doing and then there is a another issue which probably the gunman can walk on is like fixing I think leaking warrior trying their best to do that is at least and best thing we can do is try not to you know cause them I'll rather not create a problem for them if you are trying to do this yeah so I think this is one thing that we wanted to discuss and I hope that you know our listeners also have got some awareness about what crisis we are going through and where we're gonna end up very soon so you know next time you are taking a shower or wasting water please keep these things in mind yeah this is not something you can you know take lightly because it said that you know by 2020 there won't be any ground water and you have to rely on pipe pipe water and it's not a problems of the future like some asteroid might come and hit the earth in the future and I'll not be alive for that but this is something that's gonna happen in your lifetime and very soon like next year is what we are talking about so better take this seriously think about how much water you're wasting don't leave that tap open don't wash your car every day it's not required at all once a week is fine twice a week is fine just wipe it it's okay but you know please think about this this is the present and you can do something absolutely so I think that's a wrap and thank you so much for listening to us and this or watching us in case this goes life and this is writer and geek signing off for today thank you so much

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