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Poor quality of drinking water

Good morning, Bengaluru!

☁️ Today’s weather: Looks like more of the same – partly cloudy with a possibility of showers later in the day.

🧐 Did you Know? There’s an explosive named after the city. The “Bangalore torpedo” was first manufactured by Captain McClintock of the British Indian Army. It’s a trap that has explosives attached to it. If you’ve watched movies like Saving Private Ryan, you might have an idea what this is.

🚧 ️No space to walk

Encroachments on footpaths pose a hazard for pedestrians.

Story so far: Footpaths are for pedestrians to safely walk on. However, the sidewalk on Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road has public toilets built on them. The high court had ordered the BBMP to remove all encroachments from footpaths. Here’s the thing, it seems the BBMP forgot about its partnership with a private company to construct the public toilet on the footpath.

  • Social activist MG Vasudeva Rao brought this to the BBMP’s attention, but nothing was done. Another activist criticised the BBMP and the traffic police for their negligence and for not taking care of pedestrians.
  • It’s not just a public toilet; other places have milk booths and drinking water units in place, blocking the path. While the intention is good, the BBMP didn’t do its due diligence before constructing the toilet.

Failure of officials: The police didn’t bother to take note of the toilet and other encroachments. The chief minister also referred a social campaigner’s letter to the joint commissioner of police, but nothing happened.

🚰 Depleting water quality

The drinking water quality in certain parts of the city has reached dangerously low levels.

How’s it measured? When talking about the water quality here, it’s the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). It’s the amount of organic and inorganic material like metals, salts, and minerals, dissolved in a given volume of water. Drinking water below or above the TDS permissible levels can be hazardous and cause health issues.

  • In some parts of the city, the TDS levels were above the maximum rate of 250-300 parts per million (PPM) litre. For example, in Electronic City, the TDS level was as high as 1,236. The samples were taken between January and May this year.
  • The areas chosen also looked at the hardness levels. Hardness is determined by the milligrams of calcium carbonate per litre. In Electronic City, the hardness level ranged from 8-580PPM. The numbers show hardness levels range from soft to hard.

Who did it? The study was done by DrinkPrime, a subscription-based service for water purifiers. They collected samples in designated bottles and sent them to a private lab in the city.

🏫 Scientific and academic partnership

Imperial College London and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have partnered up for a variety of scientific programs.

Story so far: Imperial College London has been promoting its India connections. It has published more than 1,200 research papers with more than 300 Indian partner institutions. It has more than 500 Indian students with Indian alumni of more than 3,000.

  • The agreement will include a research and education seed fund for future research projects. The Imperial-IISc Innovative Research and Education Fund also opened for applications from teams from both institutes. 
  • Among the collaborative projects will be education, developing prototypes, and hackathons. Both universities will also look to set up a student exchange programme to help students broaden their experiences and network. 

Top-notch: In the latest QS World University Rankings, Imperial College was ranked the sixth best in the world. For India, IISc emerged as the top college in the rankings. So, both institutions are well-known and have their reputation in place.

💰 Revenue targets

The BBMP is bringing in the money.

Story so far: The city corporation has seen a significant increase in property tax in the first couple of months of the current fiscal. The BBMP has set a target of collecting ₹5,500 crores from property tax this year. It has already collected ₹2,000 crores which is higher than the previous fiscal.

  • This happened thanks to the Property Identification Number (PID). It was designed by Manjunath Raju, former chairman of the BBMP Committee for Taxation & Finance. Every single plot within the civic limit was assigned a unique number, like how Indian citizens have Aadhaar.
  • A few months after it was rolled out, it was a success. The number of properties under the tax net doubled to 16 lakh. Revenue generated from property tax increased by four times.  

Using PID’s success: A good PID system has its benefits. The Unique Road History System also follows the same approach. Similarly, a PID system has been useful to trace the length of optical fibre laid in a part of the city. It’s also been generating revenue for the corporation. The Bangalore Water Supply & Sewage Board also used PID numbers for water meters to ensure people pay water tax.

📊 Today’s Poll

(Only subscribers can participate in the polls)

Bengaluru is a large city, and there’s so much to explore. One way to go about this is through walking tours. Have you been on a walking tour of the city?

  • Yes, I’ve been on a walking tour of the city.
  • No, I’ve not been on a walking tour of the city.

(Yesterday’s poll results in the Local Lounge below)

❓ Today’s Question

(Only subscribers can submit their answers)

Which month of the year do you like the most and why?

Reply to this email with your answers.

🗞️ In other news…

🛋️ Local Lounge

Yesterday’s Poll Results:

  • I am planning to buy an EV: 62.5% 🏆
  • I’m not planning to buy an EV: 37.5%

That’s it for today. Have a great day!

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