Archive for January, 2013


The culture of the open well – a need for revival

January 14, 2013


Water dreams for 2013 – Bangalore and any city.

January 5, 2013

This is the time of the year when you do a round up of what went by but perhaps more importantly what can occur in the near future. Here then is a wish list for 2013 vis-à-vis water in all its forms.

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We will all become water warriors – Let us imagine an active citizenry engaged daily in wise water use, water conservation, solid waste management such that water is not wasted or the environment polluted by any one of their actions. It is not too difficult and as Gandhiji said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’.

A blue rainwater filter

A blue rainwater filter

The institution will achieve universal coverage – Each and every home in the city will have a water and sanitation connection, be it ‘pukka’ or ‘kutcha’ , be it legal or not , be it in a slum or in a posh neighbourhood . Difficult?  Not really if each ward of the city measures the connections achieved on a monthly basis.

The tanks in the city will ALL be revived – That every neighbourhood will have a clean expanse of water body to gaze at, to walk around, and to see the birds and that it will be a community property resource for all to enjoy.

Tanks need revitalization

Tanks need revitalization

The storm-water drains in the city will be cleaned – sewage treatment plants distributed all across the city will clean all the waste-water picked up by an efficient sewage line network. The treated waste water will be let into wetlands which abut tanks and thence will fill the water body to the brim. Only rainwater from roads will flow in the storm drains.

The rainwater in storm-water drains will be recharged into the aquifer through a series of recharge wells

Storm-water recharges an aquifer through a recharge well

Storm-water recharges an aquifer through a recharge well

Rainwater harvesting in every home – Rain barrels will dot every home and every apartment, collecting rainwater for supplementary use. Those buildings which cannot will collect rainwater in sumps or make recharge wells to allow it to go into the aquifer replenishing it.


Bore-wells– The mad drilling of individual bore-wells will stop, instead a sharing of ground-waters through community bore-wells will happen. People will instead contribute to keeping these bore-wells recharged through individual point recharge structures in storm water drains and within the plot.

Every bore-well will be recharged with clean, filtered rainwater

Recharging a defunct bore-well with rainwater

Recharging a defunct bore-well with rainwater

Septic tanks and pit toilets – those buildings not connected to the sewage lines will have well designed septic tanks and pit toilets emptied at regular intervals by the mechanical sludge removers called Honey-suckers. This removed sludge will be scientifically composted and reused as fertilizer to revitalize soils all across the city.

Schools, colleges, anganwadis and hospitals – Special attention will be paid to these institutions where the young and the vulnerable occupy. Water and sanitation will be available 24/7 thus ensuring health, hygiene and water literacy.

Parks and playgrounds – Most of the parks will become tree based instead of the water guzzling lawn based parks. Each park will harvest its own rainwater correctly by linking catchment, conveyance and recharge properly.

Here is wishing us to become a water sensitive city in this year alone.’ You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one’ as one of the Beatles has famously said.


Trees of Bangalore – the Pongaemia (karanj- hongey)

January 2, 2013

The Pongaemia Pinnata is a lovely , hardy tree found all over Bangalore. It provides shade in summer . Its flowers and leaves are very rich soil fertilizers. The seeds are pressed for oil and have been traditionally used for lighting lamps. Now they are also used as a bio-diesel. The tree harbours many birds and insects and is fabled in the Tamil language especially.


Click here for another video ->     Pongaemia and livelihood