NGT sets Sept deadline for lake clean-up

NGT sets Sept deadline for lake clean-up

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has set the September 2020 deadline for completing projects, such as setting up sewage treatment plants (STPs), to clean up Bellandur, Agara and Varthur lakes in Bengaluru. 

At a rare three-hour non-stop hearing on Wednesday, the NGT’s principal bench headed by chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that the tribunal wanted immediate and workable remedies executed preferably by June 2020, but not beyond September 30, 2020. 

The bench censured the state government for laxity in cleaning the waterbodies. Top officials such as Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development) E V Ramana Reddy, BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar, BWSSB Chairman Tushar Girinath, BDA Commissioner G C Prakash and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) member B V Patil were present at the hearing. 

The tribunal ordered the BBMP and the BWSSB to take steps to prevent sewage from entering the lakes, and suggested setting up a biodiversity park. Further, it directed the KSPCB to examine the quality of water from the stormwater drains and prepare a tabulated chart of such data. 

Demanding to know the action taken by the BBMP and the BWSSB against the polluters, the tribunal asked why electricity supply was not cut to apartments that let sewage water into lakes.