Bengaluru, Feb 14: As Cape Town stares towards Day Zero - the point where the city would turn completely dry - a report based on 'UN-endorsed projections' has released a list of 11 world cities which are nearing towards a similar disaster. Bengaluru is the sole Indian city which features in the list.
The BBC report which ranks Bengaluru 2nd among the 11 cities which it has red-flagged, cites the rapid urbanisation, unprecedented growth in population and maltreatment of sewage for the looming water crisis in the Karnataka capital.
"Not a single lake had suitable water for drinking or bathing," the report claimed.
Bengaluru has a total of 193 lakes. Nearly 85 per cent of them, however, are subjected to sewage and industrial effluents.
A study conducted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) red-flagged the "unplanned, unrealistic, concentrated developmental activities" in the city which have raised "a plethora of serious challenges" before Bengaluru to sustain quality life.
Between 1973 to 2016, the "concretization or paved surfaces" increased by 1005 per cent, the study noted, further adding that the population of Bengaluru jumped from 4.3 million in 2001 to 8.4 million in 2011.
The population density per kilometre during the same period increased from 7880 to 11,300 persons.
The city's largest lake - Bellandur - which was once used for irrigation and drinking purpose, has turned completely non potable due to massive release of sewage and industrial effluents. According to reports, Bengaluru generates nearly 1,500 tons of sewage per day, while the infrastructure in place could treat only 750 tons per day.
Apart from Bengaluru, other cities which have been included in the list are: China's Beijing, Egypt's Cairo, Jakarta of Indonesia, Turkey's Istanbul, Russia's Moscow, UK's London, Japan's Tokyo and Miami in the US.
Sao Paulo, the financial capital of Brazil, has been placed at the top spot. The city faces the most imminent threat of drinking water crisis after Cape Town, the report added.