Bengaluru: Water conservation expert and former IAS officer V. Balasubramaniam has warned that lack of political and bureaucratic will was pushing the city to a disaster induced by water scarcity.
While making a presentation "Bengaluru's Impending Water Disaster and Exodus” at a public meeting on Citizens' Agenda for Water Security at Jain University, he highlighted the issue of acute water scarcity that Bengaluru is going to face in near future.
He pointed out that knowledge exists, solutions exist, best practices exist worldwide, but the lack of political and bureaucratic will is causing the catastrophe.
“Even the governance is inefficient and lacks responsibility. The BWSSB, as per the BWSSB Act, has in its mandate to manage all water sources of the city, but it does not take care of lakes, which has led to its destruction, which is a dereliction of its duties,” Subramaniam added.
He cautioned that if the citizens do not take immediate corrective action, on a massive scale, the city was doomed to die!
He advised the citizens to mobilise and make a collective demand of the dissemination of information and engage with public representatives from panchayat to ward and national level.
In the second session of the programme, it was decided that newly formed Coalition for Water Security will hold a one-day meet on a quarterly basis and bring together activists, knowledge leaders, academicians, officials, politicians, and citizens, to discuss water security of the city and the state, and a strategy can be built to mitigate the upcoming water crisis which the city could face.
The symposium will hold engagement with all stakeholders, and come up with a strategy plan for the quarter to lobby for action, legislation and empowerment at all levels, for concrete and holistic solutions towards avoiding a water crisis, which leads to a sustainable habitat. The first symposium will be held in February 2019. The Coalition of Water Security was formed on December 15.
Signature campaign against cut in eco-sensitive zone
With just a day left to file objections against the revised draft notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change that proposes to reduce the eco-sensitive zone around the Bannerghatta National Park, Change.org and Jhatkaa.org received around 15,000 and 11,000 signatures from the concerned citizens.
On Twitter, Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar has appealed the citizens to file the objections saying there was only a day left to save the National Park.
Tree Doctor Vijay Nishanth said that he was hopeful of positive results.
“This is one of the last remaining lung spaces in the city. I would still reiterate that when the apex court has said clearly that in the absence of the notified ESZ by the state, 10 km will by default become the ESZ. BNP needs to be saved from the clutches of mining lobbly,” he added.
After the suspension of over 10 mining operations by the Mines and Geology department early this year the wildlife was seen back the affected areas. The activists believe that if the draft gets final the human animal conflict would increase.