With the diversion of treated waste water of Bengaluru city to the parched lakes and land of Kolar raising a controversy, the prudency of the project and a similar one for Anekal is now being questioned. It is true that the farmers of these districts have been demanding water and the issue has been raised in successive elections for the last three decades.
But the controversy now is about the quality of water that is being pumped to them. Although the BWSSB is the primary body responsible for the mess, the KSPCB cannot shrug off its responsibility either as it did not use its powers to act as a regulator and stop the sending of untreated water to Kolar by the minor irrigation (MI) department.
The MI department does not even have the expertise or experience to deal with treated waste water and so also the Agriculture and Horticulture departments. These departments have not specified or formulated the parameters of the quality of treated waste water, including scientific assimilation and saturation limits of the nutrients that a farmland can handle.
The disaster that the multiple departments are responsible for also speaks volumes about the lack of coordination among them.,
If the idea was to benefit the farmer, the safety of the water, soil, and produce should have been the primary focus of the project, but it was not. The problem can only be resolved by establishing strict quality parameters and real-time continuous monitoring systems in accordance with CPCB standards for industrial effluents.