Once known for its elaborate lake systems, Bangalore, also known as India’s Silicon Valley, has been reeling under the pressure of increasing population and pollution.
And all this culminated into “Smoke on the water” followed by fire in the lake on early Thursday evening. This however, is not the first time the city’s frothy lakes have witnessed the phenomenon but its scale was unprecedented.
Dense smoke emerged from the middle of Bellandur lake on Thursday, catching fire soon afterwards. The smoke was so dense that it took the fire department hours to locate the source, and get access to the spot, according to a report on The Hindu.
Waste has been dumped in the lake deliberately. Either someone has set it on fire, or the chemicals inside the lake may have got ignited, a fire official was quoted as saying. A local resident complained about garbage being burnt despite protests and complaints.
The state of the lakes have gotten so dire that even the local authority incharge of rejuvenating the lakes seem helpless. An official blamed the local municipalities for dumping sewage and other waste in the lakes.
“Some amount of solid waste is being dumped there. There is also a thick mat of macrophytes, such as water hyacinth, on which one can actually walk,” Prof. T.V. Ramachandra told the paper.
“Below that, there is methane formation. The fire could have been a cumulative effect of the two, he added.
The fire was put out, but it will only offer little comfort to local residents who have grown accustomed to foul smells and toxic froth which spills onto the roads.
Last year, the same lake had caught fire twice and thousands of dead fishes surfaced in Ulsoor, another lake in the city.