This is how polluted the water is in one of the spots near the Mavallipura landfill. As written in a previous article, the streams starts with yellowish water and a few minutes later, black water begins to flow out. When you stick your nose to it, you will find that the stink remains the same irrespective of its colour. The Zilla Panchayat has put up a notice and shut down this borewell.
But the crisis does not end here! For 16-17 villages located within a one-km radius, there are no other potable water sources other than lakes, tanks and borewells. But the landfill leachate has polluted them all at various degrees. Those who can afford buy tanker water for drinking and cooking purposes. But for bathing, washing and other activities, they have no other go but to use this polluted water. For the poorest lot, tanker water is a luxury. It’s a miracle that they still walk around on their legs.
Rainwater dilutes the danger a bit at the surface level but it also pushes the extremely hazardous leachate down. The deeper you dig, the worse it gets. As part of the Solid Waste Management Round Table fact-finding mission, this is what I discovered along with Myriam Shankar Krafft this morning.