he first of the series of NAMMA OORU saw a panel discussion on WHY THE CITY IS FLOODING SO OFTEN.
The panel consisted of - Architect and Engineer Mr Naresh, Urban expert V Ravichander, Water Sustainability Consultant at
Biome Environment Shubha Ramachandran along with the lawyer Mr Harish. The panel was complete with the urban expert Mr Ashwin Mahesh who acted as the moderator.
Architect Naresh V Narasimhan stated the panel discussion by going back in time and talks about the history of Bangalore. Nature has a steady path and no matter how many changes man tries to make; nature will find a way to go back to its original course; this is what is clearly happening in the city of Bangalore. Years ago, the city of Bangalore mostly comprised of tanks which used to be used as the means of water supply for all the surrounding areas. With the upcoming buildings and construction through the city, what used to be tanks is now a concrete structure,“National Games Village stands in the place of the Koramangala lake and the Dharmambudhi tank has made way for the Majestic bus terminal. About 11,000 acres of lake land has been encroached upon in the city, according to Koliwad committee," he said. These seem to be one of the major causes for the flooding of the city.
Water Sustainability Consultant at Biome Environment Shubha Ramachandran gave a clear example of how a community can be self-sufficient. ‘Rainbow Drive’ is a gated community on Sarjapura road that does not have any water supply from the BWSSB and hence manage on their own ground water resources. “This process took time but they managed to work out one common ground water source along with rain water harvesting to get the sufficient amount of water they needed.” She added. Even though they are not part of the BWSSB they manage to implement the same procedures of paying for the water that is used. By using rainwater better during a downpour a lot of changes can be made "Rainwater harvesting and ground water recharge should be adopted” was her main idea of change.
The discussion was soon opened to the panel along with the audience; it is clear that even if the people try and make changes they still need help from the government. The main question raised was from the fact that the government has not clearly stated the location of the storm water drains in No development zones should come up in such areas. “
The other main question that came up was the fact about ground water. Ms Subha clearly answered that though Bangalore gets rains from April till around Diwali time, there are other ways in which the ground water can be recharged, by simply finding a solution to reuse the waste water, if this goes through proper treatment it can re-enter the ground water supply.
Bangalore being one of the highest cities in terms of geography, surrounded by both the western and eastern Ghats on either side, there should be no chance for flooding to take place. The flooding happens due to the depletion of natural water resources and blocking of the storm water drains. The first of the five events of the Namma ooru series, where they discuss about haunting problems in the city and the means to solve them came to close with some powerful words Urban expert by Mr. Ashwin: “The answer to our cities problems is not in the solution themselves but in increasing the problem solving people.”
- Nitanti Alur