For an interactive Google Map click here – https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Q3gTo0SMicfBWPut4yLfILn3KUk&usp=sharing
The world has seen the Switzerland like snow frothing from Bellandur Lake. However, Bangalore is too warm for real snow. Everybody knows that it’s detergent based soap foam. No mystery in that!
The brilliant stalwarts of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), its Chairman, Environmental Officers and Scientists, issued closure orders to 488 industries in Bangalore on 05 May 2017. Their superior science, worthy of a Nobel, was just too brilliant.
These 488 industries in total generate 0.003586 MLD (million liters per day) of Trade Effluent (from industrial processes) and 12.455 MLD of Sewage Waste (toilets and day to day people use), for a total of 12.45869 MLD. Let’s round it off to 12.5 MLD. Looks like a lot?
In my article, KSPB has fooled the world! (https://indiachallenges.com/2017/05/30/first-blog-post/), I’ve explained how 6 million people in the right half of Bangalore generate 984 MLD of domestic sewage waste and are also responsible for the release of 60 MTD of household chemicals comprising of an exotic concoction of surfactants (anionic, cationic, zwitterionic, fillers and builders and cleaning liquids (ammonia and alkali based, acids, hydrocarbons such as phenyls/phenols/alcohols/terpenes/ketones).
Look at the Google Map above. For 984 MLD of sewage waste, plus 60 MTD of household chemicals, there is only one STP (sewage treatment plant), the K&C Valley STP (Koramangala and Challaghatta), with a capacity of 248 MLD. You do the math. The untreated sewage water going into the Bellandur Lake is 797 MLD. The visual map is proof that untreated domestic waste is actually discharged into this precious lake.
It’s obvious that the Government of Karnataka and the KSPCB has deceived the public.
If all the 12.5 MLD of industrial trade effluent goes into Bellandur Lake, it would amount to only 1.2% of the total waste water discharged into it! Since the bulk of the 60 MTD of household chemicals is soap, what would be its cost going down the drain? At a low-end price of Rs. 350/Kg this amounts to Rs. 21 million/day (Rs.2.1 crore/day), which is Rs. 766 crore/year. 488 industries cannot afford to throw away this much money down the drain. They would be out of business!
The 60 MTD of detergents is primarily a blend of nonionic surfactants (NIC) and anionic surfactants (AS). Pick up any brand of detergent at home and read the label. You will fill find lots of ethoxylates (such as nonyl phenol ethoxylates) which are NIC’s. Examples of AS are alkyl benzene sulfonates, lauryl sulfate, sodium dodecyl benzene sulfate and so on.
Bellandur Lake is about 3.61 square kilometers in area and has an average depth of 9.21 meters. The volume computed is 33.24 billion liters. That is, the lake has a volume to hold 33 days’ worth of sewage coming out from this part of Bangalore. After that fill capacity, it must overflow, which it does to Varthur Lake and eventually to the Then Pennai River. It finally drains into the Bay of Bengal at Cuddalore, in Tamil Nadu. It’s sad, but Tamil Nadu is taking in 50% of the Bangalore’s shit, piss, sewage and household chemicals via this path!
Interestingly, Bellandur Lake, at any given point of time will hold 60×33, which is, 1980 MT (metric tons) of detergents, i.e. 1,980,000 Kg (say 2 million Kg)! This is an incredible amount of detergent in such a small volume. When wind speeds pick up, it will whip up the water-air interface and this creates the ideal conditions for frothing of foam. This is all the simple science that is required to explain the so called foaming pollution of Bellandur Lake.
Isn’t it nut-case science that the KSPCB, the Government of Karnataka and the National Green Tribunal think that the foaming is because of 488 industrial units? Of course, it is possible that some unscrupulous industries might be discharging effluents into the principal drains. However, even if all the 488 industrial units discharge, it amount to 12.5 MLD, while the detergent from domestic waste is 60 MTD.
It is my opinion that all this amounts to willful and deliberate misleading of the public by the KSPCB and the Government of Karnataka. Why is it not telling the truth to the people of Bangalore? Is this kind of junk science doing any good to the reputation of Bangalore as the IT capital of India? What is the vested interest and gain for the KSPCB and its cronies? Shouldn’t KSPCB be held accountable for violating the public trust? Isn’t it critical for them to be honest and find real solutions?
We the people of Bangalore, Karnataka and India will not take this type of nonsense, fake science and junk explanations anymore. We all have the right to clean water and air. This right is guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Government officials and departments have no authority to take away this fundamental right from us. Now that they have, it’s time that they be taken to courts and justice sought. More so, the names of each one of these clowns who put us in this position should be exposed worldwide. If courts cannot bring some guilt and remorse into them, at least some domestic and international shame will teach them a lesson to never violate public trust. They are here to serve the people of the land. If they cannot do that, they must gracefully resign, if not, they must be voted out of power.
In my mind, this is the thesis of the corruption of foaming!