Headline July 09, 2017/ ''' BANGALORE'S -BREWED- BOOMERANGS '''



ENGINEERED TO EMINENCE :   the students of the world,  feverishly, but surely, in very small and tiny incremental steps, think Elections and Voting. 

Yes! Under the auspices of the great students of America, [all so, in the fullness of time],  say, the beginning of next year : Elections, Votes  and Votings,

The Students, Professors and Teachers  of the United States of America have been requested and  asked  by !WOW!  to take a  look inside  their imaginations, so as to allow all the other students of the world, to expand their own.

THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY  -most lovingly called, !WOW!  -is the exclusive ownership of every single student in the world.

Just as it is  the exclusive  ownership of every single student of India : One -share-Piece-Peace. So What Lies Beneath let's get to read and understand.

WHEN TITANS OF THE TECH  INDUSTRY......................      
like   IBM   and  Sun Microsystems began drifting into Bangalore in the 1990s, the city's geography had been very much part of the allure.

Sitting atop a series of ridges, Bangalore lies more than 3,000 feet above sea level -an elevation that affords the  city month after month  of moderate temperatures, nippy evenings, and clement afternoons.

But this topography also permits  Bangalore's  33 inches of annual rain to flow instantly downhill. Hauling water from the nearest major river   -the Cauvery, 53 miles to the south   -*is a formidable and inefficient affair*.

For generations  Bangalore  stood out for its foresight in devising ways to manage its water.  The founder of the city, a 16th century chieftain named  Kempe Gowda, dug the first of the city's lakes, to trap and hold rain water.

Subsequent kings and then the British dug more, so that a census in 1986 counted 389 lakes, spread like pock marks across the face of Bangalore.

 As early as 1895, Bangalore deployed steam engines to pull out water from its reservoirs; a decade later, it became the first Indian city to use electric pumps. In the 1930s, the first water meters were in India were installed here.

When the  IT  industry exploded, though, the planning seemed to seize up. Or perhaps it simply couldn't keep pace. In 2004 it was a trip to Bangalore that inspired  New York Times columnist  Thomas Friedman's wide eyed epiphany that '' the world is flat.''

The city  -having raced from obscurity to compete  handily with American tech hubs  -became Friedman's go to mascot for globalization in over drive. The question of  stressed-resources, however, rarely factored into Friedman's   columns, and it seemed to figure only casually in the city's own calculus.

Roads and tech parks were permitted to encroach onto lake land; industries dumped chemicals and debris into water bodies. The most vivid image associated with Bangalore today is not of its  software engineers  arrayed neatly within the cubicles but of its largest lake, Bellandur.

The runoff of its toxic chemicals into Bellandur is so dire that, periodically, the lake catches fire. Dense clouds of  Taupe smoke  lift off the water and sail towards the condominiums of Iblur or toward the  IT  offices of Sarjapur Road.

Neglect, not surprisingly, gave rise to scarcity  -and then collided with its volatility of climate change. The water tankers embody the market's brawny, uncouth response to   *Bangalore's  Public  Failure*.

But they have also reinforced the dysfunction of the old machine, says R.K. Misra, who sits on a government task force  to improve Bangalore's infrastructure.''No illegal business can run without the patronage of the politicians and the police.'' he says.  

Misra deploys the word  Mafia  easily when talking about the tanker barons. The business bears several of the  hallmarks  of organized  crime, he says: unlicensed operations, occasional violence, and collusion with political networks.

Politicians  up and down  the ladder, from municipal officials to state legislators, receive payoffs. ''The  tanker mafia funds their campaign during elections.'' Misra says. As a result, ''there has not been a concerted effort to contain the water tanker mafia.''

The Day After  Thayappa  Stood Me Up, I returned Iblur and called him again. 

''Why don't you come  tomorrow at noon?'' he said.  Obediently, I went back once more, reclaimed my stone bench between the fish stall and the tea shop, and waited. Thayappa drove up on his motorcycle, a silver-gray Riyal Enfield Bullet that shone in the sun. 

Introduced myself and pointed in the direction of the old village, where he lived. ''Maybe we could go your house to talk?''

He was reluctant. ''Let's just stay here,'' he said. We walked into the shadow of a tarp roof over a coconut stall. The coconut vendor, recognizing Thayappa, got up from his own chair, dusted it off, and offered it to him.

Thayappa, a middle-aged man with hairline in retreat, wore a lemon-yellow shirt and gray polyester trousers. He had on glasses with brown photochromic lenses; in the shade, these were caught midway in a muddiness between opacity and clarity.

His right eye-lid, I could just make out, was swollen, as if from an inset bite. He had a mustache, a faint sheen of white stubble on his chin, and an aura of a cool, taciturn authority, even when he was being flexible with the truth.

At one point, Thayappa, said he was getting out of the water business altogether and that he now ran just one tanker; then he said his fleet had shrunk from four tankers to two; then he said he owned two small tankers and a large one.

Back in the day, all this was agricultural land. Thayappa said, his arm describing an expansive arc around him. There was nostalgia in his voice. Iblur had been a village of farmers, and  Thayappa's family a locally prominent one.

Then Bangalore swallowed the village whole. Thayappa was one of the first of  Iblur entrepreneurs to enter the  water tanker business  in 2003 or 2004, when the condos around the village, filled with new residents began to exhaust their wells.

''There were once 20 bore wells in the village,'' Thayappa said. Now there ore only five that still work. So Thayappa sens his fleet out farther afield to find water.

When the conversation turned to the details of his business, Thayappa grew guarded and evasive. 

I recounted the story that the woman in the complex had told me, and I asked if he forced clients to buy a minimum number of tankers leads every day. He did nothing of the sort, he said. I wondered if there were battles over the turf, fights over customers. ''What fights?'' he said. ''With whom would we fight?''

I asked if he had an understanding with the other tanker owners in Iblur -if they set prices in unison. He denied this too.

''A person can only eat however much he's able to eat,'' he said cryptically.  ''If I want to eat everything   -well, how's that possible?'' 
''They call this  tanker business a mafia,'' I said.

''But if there's no running water, what will all these people do?'' he said. ''You can say what you want about the mafia, but people need water to drink.''

And  Bangalore was growing more parched by the day, Thayappa said. 

''This summer, the temperature got up to 40 degrees Celsius [104 degrees Fahrenheit], which has never happened here, in all these many decades.

They're closing all the lakes up and building over them. '' He swept his arm across the horizon again, but this time the gesture suggested not nostalgia but imminent defeat.

''Where will the city possibly find water for all these people? In two or three years we'll run out,  and then all these apartments  will be empty. They'll have to vacate and leave.''  

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Visual Artists '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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