People heat the water without fire or electricity & cook without firewood or stove… well its true but they are not really magicians or found any advanced technology… its simply abuse of Mother Nature & misuse & gross negligence. And it is not happening in some remote corners of the universe or in Mars but in one of the most advanced cities of India, Bendakaluru… the tech city Bengaluru…
Lakshmipura village lies in Anekal Taluk of Bangalore district, outside Bangalore city (off Banerghatta Road). On Monday the 20th July 2015, the residents woke up to a shocked surprise, to find stagnant water on the streets boiling & gas emanating from the ground & catching fire at many places. What’s more the bore wells were spewing gas, (guess upon contact with oxygen it seems to be turning combustible) & any paper or dry twig kept on it catching fire. Something like gas volcano. Hope like in the movies clothing will not catch fire turning humans to torches!! No, they were not sitting on new found natural gas deposit… definitely not competing with Qatar… it was the precious hot gift of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagra Palike (BBMP) on behalf of the residents of Bangalore city to this unfortunate villagprs.
Poor Mr. Kempegowda must be rolling in his grave looking at his once beautiful city turned into on giant ball of pollution. Those who don’t know who is Kempegowda… well he was the founder of Bangalore. Once.. not very long ago, Bangalore was the retired people’s paradise with lovely garden & peaceful atmosphere. Now it has expanded beyond its limits & traffic is somewhere between mad-house & zoo….. Thanks to ex-Maharaja still there are patches of greenery left, if not I can’t imagine what would have been the status. Competition between the politicians & builders who can fill their coffers faster is leaving a dent on the city. Earlier we used to joke that if anyone stands with their legs wide open the Riskha driver would go under it… now the construction in Bangalore is such that if a group of people sitting quietly, builders would raise a high rise above them too. It’s a pathetic situation, infrastructure & amenities are running short…. water & electricity is over stretched. Ground water levels are badly deteriorated. There are so many other states why can’t the Central Government impose limits on the over stretched States & make the other ones benefit?
With the never ending flow of population the waste is also increasing. So how to get rid of the waste… the developed countries dump their nuclear waste on some innocent small countries but India can’t afford to export its human waste. So dump it wherever there is place & Lakmipuram quarry seemed the ideal place… what a brilliant idea.. no owner.. so no hassle… just dump it. These kind of unscrupulous shortcuts are worse than genocide!!
Since last 3-years (2012 up until last month) BBMP has been dumping the untreated waste into the abandoned deep quarry in the area. This dumping also made the bore wells dried up making way for the gas to come up too. The water bodies around are completely polluted turning the water undrinkable, Health hazard & spreading bad odour around. Misquotes are also on rise. [guess it is worse than the sewage river flowing on the left-hand side of the road from Bangalore to Mysore. It’s not just stinks sometimes the soapy lather can be see 5-6 feet… or more creating a lather tower… due to my constant complaining my husband takes the Nice road so that he does not have to hear the grumbling!!] According to locals even though complaints were submitted time & again, had protest march through Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, yet none of the authorizes big or small listens to them.. after all it is not election time yet!! Armageddon or creating a ghost city? So who is responsible?
According to the villagers, since last 6-month the temperature around has been rising. To add salt to their wounds, now the methane gas is coming out. When they woke up, the stagnant rain water was boiling. They are living with fear of the land going to explode.. a ticking methane bomb… The rag pickers are heating the water, cooking, etc with this gas to get attention. Whatever crops they had are gone… the soil quality is ruined & the villagers are worried that they will not be able to grow anything anymore there.
What seems to have happened is that the deep ditch in the quarry (little more than 7 acres) had rain water collected in it. When the untreated waste was dumped, it became a fertile ground for bacterial fermentation. Mixed together the garbage started rotting not only spreading the bad odour but also resulting in organic gas methane production. When the production of the gas increased, naturally the gas will percolate through soil… wherever there is a passage small or big including bore wells!! It is said that upto 3 km radius the bore wells are leaking gas. After all it is natural gas not the mass of human brain sitting inside the skull!! Even though gas problem started here, it’s not been the only dumping area.. like Bettadasanapura village & some areas also has been the victims. Why should the villagers pay the price for something they did not even create? Today it’s Lakshmipura who is next & in which part of India? Hope everyone learns a lesson from this experience… sadly many still haven’t leant lesson from bubonic plague after Latur earth quake.
According to a newspaper report, BBMP authorities supposed to claim that they have filled the top with soil…layer after layer. When the rain water seeped down helping the garbage to rot the gas was produced as would happen in any garbage dump. Guess in other words it’s not their fault but the fault of the RAIN!!
It is said that the after inspection BBMP experts came with a solution.. to cap the gas leak… put 2 feet of soil & plant 5,000 saplings!! Ware wah… I wonder why the Government of Kuwait did not ask BBMP expert-advice to cap the burning oil wells in 1990!! I have a suggestion may be free gas should be supplied – from BBMP officials to Mayor up to the Chief Minister. Or perhaps Chief Minister can use it for his pet new railway project to run the train. Earlier it was steam now gas… not a bad idea!!