Bengaluru: “Development and sustainability should go hand in hand. The city’s concretisation has brought down the number of lakes from 1,452 in the 1800s to 193 now, the greenery from 82% to 8%. Is urbanisation really a sign of prosperity,” asked Lead scientist, Indian Institute of Science, Dr T.V. Ramachandra, during his talk, ‘Lessons of Unplanned Organisation: Bengaluru’, on Saturday.
He spoke about the abuse of lakes that are now burning and frothing because of metallic and chemical wastes dumped in them. “Because of lack of governance, any water body or vacant land is being used as a wasteland. It has led to declining levels of groundwater, changes in local climate, enhanced levels of pollution and flood-like situations in the city,” he said.
Quoting his research, Dr Ramachandra said that environmental literacy in the city is only 3.5%, which is at the root of most problems. “People are not aware of the damaged ecosystem that they are living in and have greatly ignored nature’s principle of equilibrium,” he said.
To improve the environment, he suggested rejuvenation of lakes by desilting, rainwater harvesting, environmental education and sensitisation of youth to bring a better tomorrow.
Society, science and spirituality should come together to rebuilding the environment, he said.