Bengaluru Buzz: Fighting cholera outbreak | More cuts in water supply … and more

Other news of the week: Bengaluru battling a heatwave, initiative to recharge open wells, Bannerghatta Road to close partially for a year.

Action against cholera outbreak

A 27-year-old woman was tested for cholera, when she showed symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting. Her doctor informed the nearest primary health centre.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) took measures for surveillance and a health team visited 165 houses around her residence. Some awareness campaigns were created about transmission of the disease, importance of hygiene and using clean water. But they did not find symptoms of cholera in the 165 households. 

As health officers and medical officers have been told to form Assembly Constituency/Zone Level Rapid Response Teams to deal with any cholera outbreak, the Palike also directed hotels/restaurants/cafe owners to distribute hot drinking water to customers. Private and public healthcare centres have been told to report suspected cases.

Cholera cases sparked off by contaminated water have surged by 40% in the city, as reported by government and private hospitals. A number of private hospitals that recorded one or two cases of cholera every month have now recorded six to seven cases in less than a fortnight in March.

Health experts said that eating in small eateries, street food and contaminated drinking water could lead to cholera. Vomiting and diarrhea might cause severe dehydration and affect the kidneys due to fluid loss. Doctors advise the public that drinking water should be adequately treated or boiled. Hygienic practices like handwashing, especially before meals or cooking, should be followed. It is also important to encourage waste disposal and avoid contaminating water sources.

Source: The New Indian Express, Business Standard

Read more: Will vendors’ eviction make street food in Bengaluru safer?

More cuts in water supply

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) announced a 10% cut in water supply, from April 10th, to users of 40 lakh to 2 crore litres of water per day. It is expected to impact many skyscrapers, apartments and gated communities. Earlier, it had announced a 20% cut in water supply to 38 bulk users of more than two crore litres per day, saving nearly 10 million litres per Day (MLD).

BWSSB chairman Ram Prasath Manohar V advised users to adopt five principles of the ‘green star challenge’ — adopt conservation technologies, increase the use of treated water, monitor borewells with technology, dig rainwater harvesting pits and create awareness. The civic body launched the challenge to restaurants, bulk users and apartment complexes. It will also supply recycled water for construction activities.

The BWSSB installed 4,000 aerators in BBMP, BDA, HAL, Indira Canteens, IT department, Jayadeva Hospital, Silk Board and other government offices. It issued orders to mandate installation in malls, commercial complexes, apartments, government buildings, plush hotels and religious places. 

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu

Battling a heatwave

On April 4th, Bengaluru recorded its maximum temperature at 36.6 degrees Celsius, while on April 3rd, the temperature soared to 37.2 degrees Celsius, which made it the hottest day since 2016. Meteorologists predicted that the heat would rise further by 2 degrees in the next five days at Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural.

Dry weather and heat wave led to deficient rainfall in the state during the first three months this year. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted the continuation of heatwave conditions.

The Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority released a set of guidelines to fight the heatwave in the next few days. It advised people to remain indoors during peak temperatures, especially between noon and 3 pm. It said that people should drink plenty of water regularly, wear light-coloured and cotton clothes, use goggles and an umbrella/hat and avoid alcohol, tea, coffee, and other carbonated drinks that might dehydrate the body. Pets should be kept in the shade and given plenty of water. It also directed people to see a doctor in case they feel dizzy or sick.

It has asked district-level authorities to offer drinking water facilities at markets, bus stands, bus terminals and other crowded places, store veterinary drugs prescribed for treating animal heat-related diseases and offer essential drinking water to motorists.

Source: India Today, The Hindu, Indian Express

Read more: Heat: The silent killer that threatens both body and mind

Recharging Open Wells

With the Friends of Lakes, India Cares Foundation and DCB Bank, the horticulture department excavated a traditional open well of a depth of 34 feet at the Lalbagh Botanical Garden. It is projected to yield at least 30,000 litres of water every two days.

This is a powerful and traditional water management system involving open wells and rainwater recharge, which was highlighted by Ram Prasad, founder of Friends of Lakes. He pointed out the importance of unconfined, shallow aquifers. He also highlighted traditional well diggers or mannu vaddars. His organisation aims to launch a “million recharge wells” campaign to set up at least 10 lakh recharge wells. He aims to make it easier to replenish unconfined shallow aquifers and assure a steady supply of potable water.
Representative image. Pic courtesy:

Meanwhile, there has been a spike in demand for rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems. As borewells ran dry and tanker prices shot up, a number of customers asked service providers for RWH solutions.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu

Bannerghatta Road will close partially for a year

The Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) announced on March 30th that a stretch of the Bannerghatta Road from the MICO signal to Anepalya junction will be partially closed for a year from April 1st, due to the Bengaluru Metro construction.

Commuters can reach Anepalya by taking a right turn at the MICO Signal leading to the Adugodi Signal via the BOSCH Link Road and then take a left towards Anepalya. 

Source: The News Minute

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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