As someone who has lived in Bengaluru for more than three decades, there’s no other place I’d like to call home. This is where I belong. As a child of the 80s and a teenager of the 90s, life was much simpler although it certainly didn’t feel that way back then. Fast forward to today, and I see around me a Bengaluru that has changed beyond measure.
I’m going to try and not sound like the oldies who reminisce about the good old days of Bengaluru, with the memories of the tree lined avenues, the promenade on MG Road or the hassle-free life they used to live. Instead, I want to discuss something that I woke up to rudely, a few years ago. Water shortage.
Growing up in a household where my mother took care of everything meant that I had no clue what words like water supply, sump, motor even meant. Okay, I mean, I know what they meant, but they were not my reality. But years later, when we moved to Koramangala, I realised that these words had become everything to me.
I might have tweeted once that the sound of water falling into the sump is the sweetest music to my ears. It still is. There’s that sense of relief; that feeling that a much needed friend is here. And of course, the fact that we don’t have to shell out more money to the water tanker guys who were on my speed dial.
Water shortage is a huge issue. And I understand that BWSSB might be doing everything they can to improve the situation. What I don’t get is home owners who sink borewells because of this very shortage and then go on to wash three cars using a hose. If there’s one thing that angers me more than water shortage, it’s seeing water being wasted.
After my introduction to the world of water shortage, I have become a sanctimonious and annoying evangelist who tells everyone not to waste water. Most often when relatives visit and they offer to help in washing up, I try and ensure that they don’t, because I fear they will waste water. It’s a bit of a win-win because they think I’m being polite while I can be rest assured that the water tank will not get depleted.
Yes, the traffic situation here is terrible. The garbage problem is even worse. But as a city with no potable water source nearby, I think people need to open their eyes to the biggest problem here. Groundwater levels in Bengaluru are falling at alarming levels, and with every other person sinking a borewell, deeper and deeper into the ground, things aren’t going to improve.
While I don’t have any solutions to address this, I do want to say that people at large need to be educated about conserving water and reducing dependence on borewells. Rainwater harvesting is also an excellent option, but making it mandatory and actually making it useful are two different things.
I’m an eternal optimist, so I hope that a collective effort by people on all the problems Bengaluru faces will work and things will improve. Despite the traffic and all other woes, there’s still no other place that’s home.
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