The City of Disappearing Lakes

Over the past decade or so, I have watched my water purifier detect increasing levels of hardness in my water supply in Bangalore. When the rain comes, I forget about the weird tasting water I drink every day. If there is rainfall, we should have more fresh water to drink, right? But then, the roads clog up, some buildings collapse, and all that fresh water that lashed out from the heavens simply disappear. "How did we get here?" I ask. "It's the lakes. All of this starts from the disappearance of the lakes," a wise friend told me. So this summer, I started asking questions and ended up with a short documentary which CGTN agreed to broadcast. The water crisis is a global issue that everyone is aware of. Cape Town made sure of that. But the story of our lakes is more sickening, because the causes of our water problem are insidious. All of us play a part in this game and none of us are held accountable.

On January 19, 2018, 5000 army men were deployed to douse a lake that caught fire in Bangalore- the Silicon Valley of India. This is not the first time a lake is catching fire in this city. Bangalore used to have more than 200 lakes in the 1980s (now it’s down to 81, half of which is polluted by sewage) but is now suffering from acute water shortage and is predicted to become uninhabitable by 2025  unless drastic counter measures are taken. Bangalore, the state capital of Karnataka, has suffered 3.7 billion dollars in losses  due to the violence that erupted in the capital over a river water dispute in 2016. Various parts of the state have been affected with strikes (often ending in violence ) throughout 2016 and 2017 over river-water sharing disputes with neighboring states while it suffered from the worst drought in the last 40 years in 2017. 

Unplanned, unprecedented growth and development, coupled with apathy is said to be a major cause for this water shortage. Pollution is the cause for burning lakes. This issue is often politicized for their gain by the ruling parties or by the opposition. The one who suffers -either due to the water shortage or by the violence that erupts- is the common man. 

In this short documentary, I investigate what is causing these lakes to disappear and to catch fire and how it is affecting the common man. 

Direction | Story |  Script - Jyothy Karat
Program Editor - Ryan Chua
Cinmetography - Jyothy Karat
Editing - Sony Sasankan
Sound Recordist - Praveen C M
Additional Footage - Chetan Kumar, Venkateshan Peevee Perumal
Drone Footage - Praveen C M, Venkateshan Peevee Perumal