I had seen about 10 Mumbai monsoons before literally running away and relocated to Bangalore. A couple of days ago, a dear friend who had also moved from Mumbai called me asking if it was safe to send her kids to school. I said, “of course, Bangalore doesn’t reel under pressure during monsoons like Mumbai. It is safe”
Shortly after that, started the stream of videos and pictures from across Bangalore, covered in muddy waters, people even rowing boats to save their few belongings. This monsoon has been a rude shock to my pride towards Namme Bengaluru.
The irony is that Bangalore is headed towards water shortage by 2030 on one hand and on the other, we seem to have no idea how to manage the surplus we seem to have received! So theoretically, a few years down the line, we may still be flooded, but have no water to drink!
Some light reading brings forward the fact that a lot of illegal construction, corrupt approvals and ever increasing demand for urban development are factors that have led to complete breakdown of our water management system. On the face of it, the Government is insisting on every building having a robust water harvesting system, but at the same time, approving construction where NGT has clearly raised flags.
Now, the shock aside, it is easy to complain. But the fact is, Bangalore is not the only city headed this way. We may complain, but we are all part of the problem. Why not try and be part of the solution?
What can we do?
- Join or create a citizen forum to understand how water, waste and even garbage is handled in your locality
- Create water harvesting solutions
- Read up on the problem and solutions & practice them
- Spread awareness
- Make sure you raise your voice against illegal construction
Most importantly – big or small – make a start. Let’s vow not to step into another monsoon feeling helpless