We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality. – Ayn Rand
Mavallipura landfill maybe located miles away from your home depending on where you live. But the consequences of sending all our garbage to this giant bin for 10 years have been spreading to far-off corners of Bangalore ever so silently and spitefully.
According to an investigation done by Environment Support Group (ESG) in 2010, a total of 84 acres of fertile land that has been playing host to lakhs of tonnes of rotten garbage is just 2.5 kms away from “the flow of River Arkavathi and comprehensively violate an order of the Karnataka Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment that protects the 1,453 sq kms watershed of Tippagondanahalli Reservoir across Arkavathi—a major drinking water source for Bangalore—from polluting facilities.”
The level of water pollution was alarming back then when the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board studies revealed that the leachates released from this area had contaminated the surface and ground water significantly, “particularly Mavallipura tank which is part of a chain of lakes that ultimately discharge into the Tippagondanahalli Reservoir.”
So far, yet so perilously close to the disaster!
Damning as it is, this evidence should have been enough for successive state governments to go on a war-footing and decontaminate the entire area through whatever sensible measures possible. Instead, three-four years later, it is talking of reopening the same landfill because Mandur is all set to erupt if dumping is not stopped by December 1.
As pointed out in the previous article, water pollution in this area seems beyond remedy. Farmland has been poisoned. Livestock is vanishing by the day. A veritable buffet of diseases including cancer has been stalking the villagers. Air is filled with noxious fumes and yet, none of this seems to push the rulers and the ruled out of their ‘comfort zone’.
Let’s pause and understand that it’s the garbage that’s lying in two corners of the city but the pollution has poisoned the whole well!