India’s Flammable Lake Of Froth Is A Pollution Horror Story

In the 1970s, the Bellandur Lake supplied water to more than 20 Indian villages. Now, it does not even look like a lake – it looks like a toxic brew.

It’s not snow that’s floating around in the air and covering the street in the footage above – it’s something far more sinister. In fact, it is one of the worst pollution nightmares mankind has witnessed in past few years.

At first glance, Lake Bellandur in Bangalore, India, may give an illusion of being covered with snow, when in reality it would be a stretch to even call it a lake. In fact, the body of water that once provided to over 20 neighboring villages now resembles a pool of toxic and sewage waste.

Located in the country’s technology hub, the 9,000-acre lake is filled with decades’ worth of chemical waste and sewage that gets churned into a white froth during heavy monsoonal rains. The stinky foam not only contains effluents like grease, oil and detergents, it sometimes even catches fire.

Although the locals have learned to live with the unnatural phenomenon, the fact remains that the fumes from Lake Bellandur are extremely hazardous to health. Earlier this year, an expert from the Indian Institute of Sciences claimed contaminated air particles from the river were causing rashes and burns.

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“Every time it rains and the water flows, the froth raises and navigating this stretch becomes risky,” explained Vishruth, a resident who lives about 30 meters away from the lake. “Due to the froth, visibility is reduced and the area also smells bad. Cars and bikes that pass this area get covered with froth.”


A photo posted by Omkar Bhutara (@ombhoot) on

While authorities continue to do nothing to save the lake, some locals have set up a Facebook page to bring attention to the problem.

“We need to change course, but it’s like trying to turn the Titanic around,” Software executive and environmental activist Nagesh Aras told the LA Times. “There’s an iceberg ahead, but the captain hasn’t even seen it. And that’s the tragedy with the fires. We’re trying to explain that they’re just the tip of the iceberg.”

The government has apparently issued notices to the concerned municipal agencies to develop an action plan to combat the issue of the chemical foam. However, public seems to have no faith in the government’s efforts.

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