- State government to clean up lake in a month and submit a report
- The rejuvenation will be monitored by the Urban Development Department
- Anyone found dumping waste in the lake to be fined Rs 5 lakh
Bengaluru’s Bellandur lake has been making news for all the wrong reasons. In February 2017, a massive fire caused due to a toxic buildup on the lake first brought it to national attention. Since then the lake keeps overflowing with toxic froth, leading to concerns of another fire. Earlier today, on April 19, the National Green Tribunal came down strongly on the Karnataka state government, ordering them to clean up the lake within a month and submit a report.
The bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar reprimanded the authorities for not taking proper steps to check the flow of untreated sewage into the lake. The bench also directed the complete shutdown of all industrial units in the area around the Bellandur lake. No industries will be permitted to operate unless the waste generated is found to be within permissible limits. Anyone found to be dumping waste in or near the lake will be fined Rs 5 lakh.
The state government has been given a deadline of a month to prevent the unprecedented flow of sewage into the lake as well as remove all accumulated toxic material already in the lake. The government has also been asked to set up sewage treatment plants and ensure that no sewage, treated or untreated should be allowed to flow into the lake.
The hearing was attended by officials from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA), Karnataka State Pollution Control Authority (KSPCB) and Lake Development Authority (LDA). The rejuvenation project will be monitored by a committee set up by the Urban Development Department, and members from each of the concerned civic bodies will be a part of the committee.
The lake which has been in news for the past two months receives around 40 per cent of the city’s sewage and has become a dumping site for toxic materials due to the unmonitored flow from industries and residential apartments in Bellandur. In February 2017, large portions of the lake caught fire due to the formation of methane from the accumulated toxic waste.