India

India Bangalore lake of toxic snowy froth

  • 28 September 2015
  • From the section India
bangalore foam Image copyright Debasish Ghosh
Image caption The foam rises so high that it flows into the neighbourhoods around the lake

Is it snowing in India's tropical southern city of Bangalore?

The picture above would certainly make you think so.

Unfortunately, the reality is quite different: what looks like snow is actually harmful snow-white froth that floats up from the city's largest lake and spills over into neighbouring areas.

Over the years, the 9,000-acre Bellandur lake in India's technology capital has been polluted by chemicals and sewage.

IT professional Debasish Ghosh has been taking pictures of the lake of "harmful snowy froth" for months now. Here is a selection of his pictures.

Image copyright Debasish Ghosh
Image caption Mixing with storm water coming out of two outlets into the lake, pollutants form a toxic snowy foam that covers the water and rises so high it flows into the surrounding areas.
Image copyright Debasish Ghosh
Image caption The situation gets worse during the rains. When the wind blows, it carries the foam in the air
Image copyright Debasish Ghosh
Image caption Locals say authorities are not doing enough to clean the lake. They have filed petitions in the court, urging action - the earliest complaints date back to 2000 - but nothing much has happened.
Image copyright Debasish Ghosh
Image caption Ghosh says the foam emits an "unbearable smell", but local people have to live with it
Image copyright Debasish Ghosh
Image caption A traffic gridlock in a foam covered street near the lake
Image copyright Debasish Ghosh
Image caption In May, the lake caught fire on two separate days. The flames, say scientists, were caused by industrial effluents in the water, including detergents, oil and grease.
Image copyright Debasish Ghosh
Image caption The foam usually covers a key road connecting the airport to the border town of Hosur