The soldiers of Indian Army bravely protect our country from all kinds of external threats, be it from the terrorists or the imperialist forces of the neighboring rough states. But that is just the beginning of what the army does for this country and its citizens. From building bridges to repairing roads in urgent situations to even carrying out rescue missions, the army has proved itself to be a true friend of the Indian people, over and over again.
Not many know that the army is not only safeguarding our present and future by fighting against terrorists and aggressors at border but they are also fighting against pollution to save drinking water for our coming generations. Cross border terrorism, cease-fire violations and being placed in one of the most unstable regions of the world is not the only threat that the present and future of India faces.
India is going through the worst water crisis of its history. Approximately 200,000 people die every year due to inadequate access to clean water. 21 cities are expected to completely run out of ground-water by the year 2020. By 2030, India’s water demand is projected to be twice the current supply. All these stats are as scary as they look but that doesn’t stop Indian people from not only wasting drinking water but also polluting the water bodies by dumping waste into them.
This past Wednesday, 1,000 soldiers of the Madras Engineers Group (MEG), which is a wing of the Indian army, removed tonnes of water hyacinth from Bengaluru’s Ulsoor lake. The drive started early in the morning and continued till evening. The MEG officials feel very emotional about the situation of the lakes and they often laugh cleanliness drives to remove hyacinth and waste from them.
Over the years, quality of lakes in Bengaluru have deteriorated significantly and we the common people are responsible for it. The lakes are a favorite spot for the local residents and traders to dump their everyday household waste and debris. This directly affects the overall quality of the lake and its water. However due to MEG’s tireless efforts and regular cleanliness drives, the Ulsoor lake at the city’s heart has survived this menace to a certain extent.
“Hyacinth has indeed been the scourge of lakes here and we need to battle the menace. These soldiers of the MEG wage a daily battle against water hyacinth. They feel so emotional about the lake that they clean it out regularly. They pull out the weed whose roots stretch up to a long distance. Strand by strand, the lake is de-weeded, “said an MEG official.
The MEG uses the lake for training purposes everyday and since past 10 months has taken up the responsibility of keeping it clean. It must be noted that Government had spent a lot of money behind for the cleaning of several lakes including the Ulsoor but the results were no where close to what it is under the MEG.
Madras Engineer Group (MEG), informally known as the Madras Sappers, is an engineer group of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army. The Madras Sappers draw their origin from the erstwhile Madras Presidency army of the British Raj. This regiment has its HQ in Bengaluru. The Madras Sappers are the oldest of the three groups of the Corps of Engineers.