Now, apartments to pay price for Bellandur mess
Instal STPs or send waste water to unit in Nayandahalli
Cleaning drive at Bellandur lake on Tuesday. DH PHOTO
All the 157 apartment complexes located around the lake must set up sewage treatment plants (STPs) or carry their sewage water to the STP at Nayandahalli in Vrushabhavathi Valley, the government will announce through a notification in a day or two.
“We have found that there are no heavy chemicals in the lake. This means that industries are not the only polluters. Untreated sewage entering the lake is a major concern and we have found that apartment complexes are equally responsible,” Mahendra Jain, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development Department, told journalists on the banks of Bellandur lake after a field inspection on Tuesday.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued strict directions to the government to ensure that untreated water does not enter the lake. It also ordered that sewage water be treated at properly established STPs. Jain said three STPs had been identified in Vrushabhavathi Valley, ITI Layout and HMT Layout for immediate use.Apartment complexes will have to carry their waste water by tankers to the identified STPs at their own cost and pay the BWSSB to get it treated. Once the water is treated, apartment complexes will be free to carry it back home or release it into the valley, Jain said.
Ramakrishna S M, Chief Engineer (waste water management), BWSSB, said the STP at Nayandahalli had a capacity of 180 mld (million litres per day) but was treating just 120 mld. According to him, the government is working on linkages to ensure that the STP treats water to its full capacity by the end of this year. Until then, the STP will treat 60 mld of water from Bellandur lake.
Ramakrishna conceded that Vrushabhavathi Valley was no longer clean but said that was because not many STPs had come up there. He hoped that by 2020, an adequate number of STPs will be built and interlinked to clean the valley. “Taking water from Bellandur to Vrushabhavathi Valley is just a temporary arrangement to comply with NGT’s directions,” he said. The STPs in ITI Layout and HMT Layout will treat 1 mld of water each.
Ravi Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary, Forests, Environment and Ecology Department, spoke about regular checks on 488 industries located in the Bellandur catchment area. Ninety-seven industries are water-based and 89 of them have been ordered to be closed immediately. These industries will be permitted to operate only after their water and treatment facilities are inspected for compliance with central and state pollution control board standards.
Vijay Kumar, KSPCB Member Secretary, said 32 water-based industries were sharing a common effluent treatment plant. “We have directed them to either set up individual treatment plants or transport the waste water to the place where apartments are sending it. Until then, they will have to close down,” he said.
Kumar said apartment complexes were equally responsible for polluting Bellandur lake. “Until now, we were not cracking down on apartments, but we will not let them off any more. Previously, we had mandated that apartments with 50 and above units instal an STP. But now, even apartments with 20 units will have to establish an STP. There are many such apartments and they are the biggest polluters,”he said.