Hackathon aims to crack city's waste water puzzle

Hackathon aims to crack city's waste water puzzle

Frothing Bengaluru lakes have exposed the city’s civic agencies to a slew of criticism.

At a time when the city is battling a water crisis and witnessing a crying need for wastewater management, a team of experts hopes to brainstorm an idea to address the issues.

A four-day hackathon is being organised by the Waste Impact Trust in partnership with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), United Way and others. The event, to be conducted at the IISc between September 1-2 and September 8-9, will identify low-cost, high-impact, inclusive solutions to the problem of water waste in Bengaluru. Fish deaths reported in Sankey, Lalbagh, Jakkur and Munnekolala lakes; frothing of Bellandur, Maragondanahalli, Rampura, Sarakki and Varthur lakes and an incident of fire in the Bellandur Lake have only marred the city’s reputation further, believe experts. People from economically weak and marginalised communities will participate along with the best talents of the country. The best solutions emerging from the hackathon will be incubated, implemented on the ground and scaled.

Experts from IISc, entrepreneurs, technologists and waste management experts will sit together and discuss Bengaluru’s challenges of drinking water shortage and sewage. In the first phase of the event, ideas on issues that are to be addressed will be discussed. Following this, sustainable solutions will be designed and projects developed.

A prize worth Rs 2 lakh will be given for developing the best idea coming out of the hackathon. A 45-day challenge will be open to all registered participants to showcase progress in their idea for a chance of incubation. The teams will be offered advice and coaching on developing a business canvas, building a business pitch and a business plan.

The hackathon looks at creating profitable ventures. Gayitri Handanahal, managing trustee, Waste Impact Trust, said the hackathon starts by looking at the problems. “This includes a focus on lakes, STPs and other issues. This is a livelihood-focused hackathon. For instance, we will look at how people are cleaning lakes, and how it can be done,” she said.