Anand Malligavad, a mechanical engineer turned lake conservationist from Bengaluru sharing his perspective on the rapid loss of water bodies in Bengaluru, that was once known as city of lakes stated, “In 1960, there were around 280 lakes in Bengaluru, but today their number has fallen to just around eighty, out of which just around two dozen can be called healthy. Today, one of the biggest challenges in the rejuvenation drive is the resistance from the encroachers.”
The unrestricted development has resulted in many lakes either being levelled for construction or becoming dumping grounds for the city's industrial and domestic waste. Anand shares, “Bengaluru is on the brink of running out of groundwater. First and foremost, we need to educate the public on the issue, engage the local community and then build a sustainable mechanism of rejuvenating water bodies that can sustain without human interference.”
Anand commended the real estate sector for their initiatives of harvesting rainwater, planting trees and treating waste water for recycling in their projects. “In my experience the organized and professional realty firms and infrastructure companies as well as corporate sector are following the green ratings and sustainability guidelines. We need stricter government policies and enforcement when it comes to unorganized industries and sector that are continuing with mindless construction and dumping of wastes with no regard to environment.”
On a positive note he said, “Many organizations are coming forward with CSR engagement, residents associations are coming forward for help and crowd funding support are all encouraging factors and give hope for the future. The most important thing to do is to create a mind-set of responsible water consumption among all segments of the society, if we want to become water sustainable.
“IT IS A GREAT HONOUR THAT BENGALURU IS CALLED THE “SILIICON VALLEY OF INDIA”, BUT THIS HAS ALSO BROUGHT WITH IT RAPID URBANIZATION. WHILE THE ORGANIZED REAL ESTATE AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT IS AWARE OF ECOLOGICAL REGULATIONS AND ARE ADOPTING GREEN NORMS, THE SAME NEEDS TO PERCOLATE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID.”