Bengaluru, in comparison to the other cities in India, is mostly famous for two reasons - one is it is the IT - Hub of the country…. which is supporting a cross-section of lifeline. And two - its moderate weather almost across the year, may be except during the summer. Though the economic prosperity is clearly visible among various sections of society, the environmental scenario is not doing well. In fact Bangalore's environment & ecology has been completely sacrificed to boost the economy…. But how long will this continue and how much more will the city sustain this rampant degradation…?
The city is facing acute weather patterns and changes over the last few years… rains have become erratic, temperature is rising beyond known limits, the atmosphere is inclined towards becoming drier and many such changes. These changes are not a natural phenomenon and they don't swing between extremes. These are definitely signs and symptoms of large scale environmental degradation and disturbances. Just about twenty years ago the average temperature in Bangalore would just be around 26 degrees Celsius with the overall range being 20 to 32 degrees Celsius. But then, sudden and unexpected showers over the city would immediately cool down the city. In fact there would be a 10mm pre-monsoon rainfall that would keep the temperatures from rising suddenly. AT the same time, most of the rainwater would collect in lakes, tanks, ponds and other man-made & natural water bodies across the city. This is how the Bangalore was designed - to harvest maximum rainwater all over the city.
This also regulated the city's temperature and thereby kept a natural check. But look at our city today - in a matter of twenty years (from 1998 till 2018) Bangalore is facing acute water crisis - a harsh reality that nobody wants to believe. Such dramatic changes in climate and weather patterns in such a short span of time is something that we all need to seriously think and work towards reversing this trend. But, sadly we have all turned out to be just mute spectators - watching the drastic decline in green (tree) cover, steep rise in vehicular population (currently 80 lakh vehicles), ever-increasing in air pollution levels, garbage all across the city and other relevant issues & concerns.
At the global level India has been the largest recipient of climate finance - meaning that we receive financial / monetary support from various climate funds, bilateral agencies and global development banks. But the question is - where is all this climate finance being utilized..? No doubt the city has lost a majority of its green & blue cover…. but the amount being received by the government through various climate funding schemes could have actually rebuilt our Bangalore once again…. Though there are well-meaning green crusaders trying to incite change within our communities through various projects and activities, a large number of us are still unaware of what the future of our environment is. A completely lop-sided mind-set based on ignorance, arrogance and negative attitude is plaguing most of the city's population. This is clearly evident - ever-increasing vehicular population, wells & bore-wells running dry, garbage all across the city and so on….
All said and done, environmental protection and being genuinely green is not a lifestyle choice made by just few of us since environmental degradation affects all of us. Rather, environmental protection & conservation must be the order of the day. Unless each one of us makes and takes ecologically conscious decisions, the actions of a few will certainly not reverse the effects & impacts we are already facing.
If we want to bring back Bangalore's environment and ecology each one of us needs to bring about drastic changes in their lifestyles. Just taking pledges and oaths, participating in runs and walkathons, cleaning one's neighborhood on a Saturday - will not suffice. We have destroyed our environment to such as extent that we now need to question each and every move of ours - is it our need or the greed that we are trying to satisfy…