NGT to officials: Set up STPs on lakes or pay fine

NGT to officials: Set up STPs on lakes or pay fine

Varthur Lake.DH FILE Photo/Sudheesha K G

The National Green Tribunal has said it would penalise officials for their failure to meet the deadline to build Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) to stop polluted water from entering the city lakes.

The green panel has set September 30, 2020 as the deadline to create the STPs and lay sewerage networks to stop unchecked discharge of sewage water into the Bellandur, Agara and Varthur lakes.

It said it would recover Rs 10 lakh as compensation per STP per month from errant officials if the deadline is breached.

Remedial measures

In its order on the lake pollution issue, the NGT principal bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has asked the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to ensure no sewerage/effluent is discharged into the lakes till the setting up of the STPs and take interim remediation immediately.

Failure to comply with the order would result in a Rs 5 lakh fine per month per inlet to the lakes from February 1, 2020. The bench extended the tenure of the monitoring committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde till March 24, 2020, and asked the panel to submit a report on the works done by the state government on or before March 6.

The NGT said letting 256.7 million litres untreated sewage into the Bellandur Lake every day is a criminal offence, which is required to be checked on war footing.

The tribunal has asked the state government to submit a performance guarantee of Rs 100 crore. The state will also deposit Rs 50 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) towards restoring the environment. The panel also asked the BBMP to deposit Rs 25 crore in this regard.