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Narrow flow path of Cauvery, Mekedaatu

By Nithin Sridhar

A recent study conducted by the Bangalore University (BU) on the management of odor that is being emanating from the waste water in the Vrushabhavathi valley has concluded that the cause for the foul smell in the surrounding areas is hydrogen sulphide present in the water due to the dumping of domestic and industrial waste into the river. These wastes have made the river water highly poisonous. But, this was not the case always.

Narrow flow path of Cauvery, Mekedaatu

The past grandeur of Vrushabhavati

River Cauvery is one of the most important rivers that flow through Karnataka. She has many tributaries like Kabini, Kapila, Hemavati, Arkavati etc. River Vrushabhavati, which flows through the south of Bengaluru, is one of the tributaries that feed Arkavati, which in turn feeds Cauvery.

The river is said to have sprung from somewhere near Dodda Ganapathi Temple on Bull Temple Road in Basavanagudi and flows parallel to present day Mysore road touching various localities in Bengaluru like Guddadahalli, Bapujinagar and RR Nagar.

It was a fresh-water stream that flowed in grandeur and fulfilled the drinking and other water needs of the people at one point of time. The river was not only fulfilling the daily needs of the people, but it was also considered as very sacred. As a result, in 1425, Sri Vyasaraya of Channapattana, who was also the Rajguru of Vijayanagara Empire, established a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman called “Gali Anjaneya Temple” at the confluence of Vrushabhavati with Suvarnamukhi in south-west of Bangalore, which is still present.

Fresh-water river becomes a waste-water river

But, today the fresh-water river has completely dried and it has been replaced by a river of waste water that carries industrial effluents from more than 100 industries and sewage of Bengaluru with up to 300 million liters per day (MLD) of waste water flowing into the Vrushabhavati valley. These industrial effluents and domestic sewage that were diverted to the river especially in last few decades has killed the original fresh-water river and replaced it with a river of waste water.

The current condition of Vrushabhavati

A 2008 study found that around 57% of the total 30 samples collected from Vrushabhavati were non-potable. The major factors contributing to the non-potability of the water were hardness and excess of nitrates. Hardness contributed to the non-potability of water in 40% of the samples, whereas nitrates were present in excess in 43.33% of samples.

The report says that the excess of nitrates must have been caused due to water flowing through soil containing industrial and domestic wastes, as well as due to septic tanks and garbage disposals. Though the average concentration of nitrates was 47.6 mg/l, which is just below the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) permissible level of 50 mg/l, in some samples, the nitrate concentration was as high as 157 mg/l. Excess nitrates cause blue baby disease in infants.

The maximum values for hardness were as high as 1960 mg/l against BIS standard of 600 mg/land the major contributor for hardness were again the sewage and industrial effluent. The other causes of non-potability of Vrushabhavati water are the presence of calcium, fluoride, chloride, iron, dissolved solids etc.

Calcium was beyond permissible limits in around 23% of the samples whereas very high levels of fluoride were found in around 13% of samples. Four out of thirty samples had iron content higher than the permissible level of 1 mg/l. Excess chloride contributes towards 10% of non-potability, with the maximum chloride level being 1338 mg/l as against the permissible BIS limit of 1000 mg/l. The study further analyzed ten samples for bacteria and found that five samples, i.e. fifty percent were contaminated.

A 2013 report says that the levels for BOD and COD were much above the Indian Standards (IS) permissible levels. BOD or Biological Oxygen Demand refers to the amount of dissolved oxygen required for aerobic microbes to break down organic materials in water and is used to access the quality of water. The BOD levels in Vrushabhavati was around 253 mg/l at upstream and 248 mg/l at downstream as against IS level of 30 mg/l. COD or Chemical Oxygen Demand is also another parameter for assessing the quality of water. It was 340 mg/l and 320 mg/l at upstream and downstream respectively as against the IS level of 250 mg/l. These clearly imply that water is completely contaminated.

Another 2013 study concludes: “The analysis of Vrushabhavati river water samples reveals that the water is highly contaminated at selected points which are not suitable for drinking and irrigation. Pb, Cr, Mn, and Fe concentration is above the permissible limit. Even though the other metal concentration is below permissible limit, it is necessary to prevent excessive build-up of these pollutants which are transferred to soil and finally food.”

In 2013, following Karnataka High Court’s notice to the State government, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and other authorities, the Ramanagaram district administration had decided to take up the cleaning of Vrushabhavati river stream. But, much has not been done as shown by the recent study by Bangalore University.

There is only a single Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) that is treating the waters in the Vrushabhavati. Apart from this, Bengaluru has 13 more STP’s across the city. According to a 2007 report of Central Pollution Control Board, most of these 14 STP’s operate at only their 50% design capacity. As a result, much of the sewage is let into the rivers and streams without treating them.

It is high time that the government not only makes the present STP’s to run at their full capacity and build newer STP’s to cater to growing demands, but also makes efforts to revive the dead Vrushabhavati fresh-water stream, which would then help to fight water scarcity in Bengaluru.


Photo by Pixabay

Upcoming medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages

The new medical colleges being opened in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages.

The state government has issued an order naming four district hospitals that are being converted into medical colleges.

These district hospitals are in Bijnor, Fatehpur, Chandauli, and Siddharth Nagar.

The Bijnor medical college has been named after Mahatma Vidur, a philosopher during the Mahabharata era and uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas.

The Chandauli medical college has been named after Baba Keenaram, said to be the founder of the Aghori sect.

The Siddharth Nagar district hospital will be called Madhav Prasad Tripathi Medical College after the BJP politician from the region. Tripathi, popularly known as Madhav Babu, was also the first Uttar Pradesh BJP chief. He was elected MP from Domariyaganj in 1977, besides being two times Jan Sangh MLA and also a member of the UP legislative council.

The Fatehpur hospital has been named Amar Shaheed Jodha Singh Ataiya Thakur Dariyawn Singh Medical College, after the freedom fighter of 1857.

It is said that he was among the first to use Guerrilla warfare against the British, as taught by freedom fighter Tatya Tope.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, the medical college in Deoria will be named after Maharishi Devraha Baba and the medical college of Ghazipur in the name of Maharishi Vishwamitra.

The medical college of Mirzapur will be in the name of Maa Vindhyavasini, the medical college of Pratapgarh in the name of Dr. Sonelal Patel and the medical college of Etah will be named after Veerangana Avantibai Lodhi. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Medical Colleges, Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, India, Politics

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Indian cricket team on the ground

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has picked India as the favourite to win the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Inzamam feels that the Virat Kohli-led India have a greater chance of winning the trophy as the conditions in the Gulf nations are similar to the subcontinent, which makes India the most dangerous side in the event, according to Inzamam.

"In any tournament, it cannot be said for certain that a particular team will win' It's all about how much chance do they have of winning it. In my opinion, India have a greater chance than any other team of winning this tournament, especially in conditions like these. They have experienced T20 players as well," said Inzamam on his YouTube channel.

He said more than the Indian batters, the bowlers have a lot of experience of playing in the conditions. The Indian Premier League (IPL) was played recently in UAE and most of the Indian bowlers did well in that leg.

Inzy heaped praises on the Men in Blue for the confident manner in which they chased the target against Australia on a challenging track without needing Kohli's batting prowess.

"India played their warm-up fixture against Australia rather comfortably. On subcontinent pitches like these, India are the most dangerous T20 side in the world. Even today, if we see the 155 runs they chased down, they did not even need Virat Kohli to do so," he added.

Though he did not pick any favourite, Inzamam termed the India-Pakistan clash in the Super 12 on October 24 as the 'final before the final' and said the team winning it will go into the remaining matches high on morale,

"The match between India and Pakistan in the Super 12s is the final before the final. No match will be hyped as much as this one. Even in the 2017 Champions Trophy, India and Pakistan started and finished the tournament by facing each other, and both the matches felt like finals. The team winning that match will have their morale boosted and will also have 50 percent of pressure released from them," Inzamam added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Pakistan, Sports, ICC T20 World Cup, UAE.

Photo by Diana Akhmetianova on Unsplash

Skin problems like itchiness, dryness and flakiness can occur anytime if you're not moisturising your body enough.

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man in white crew neck t-shirt Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. | Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

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