‘Punish officials who let pollution in lakes’

The NGT, which passed an order to restore the major lakes, asked the agencies trusted with the upkeep of the lakes to identify the errant officials and take action.

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday gave three months to Karnataka to identify and punish errant officials who failed to check pollution in Bellanduru, Varthur and Agara lakes.

The NGT, which passed an order to restore the major lakes, asked the agencies trusted with the upkeep of the lakes to identify the errant officials and take action. The order also said their lapses should be recorded in their annual confidential reports.

The order applies to both present and past officials, the tribunal added, observing that the concerned officials have miserably failed to discharge their obligations to the society.

The bench, headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, said the Additional Chief Secretary of the Urban Development Department must identify the officials responsible for implementing the lake revival plan in the coming days.

Failure to implement the task should be recorded in the officials’ career progressive records, the tribunal said.

Penalties on the public

The bench also asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prepare, in a month, guidelines on the scale of penalties on individuals and institutions for non-compliance to control pollution in Bengaluru lakes. The bench also asked the CPCB to prepare guidelines on waste management within one month, Sajan Poovayya, advocate for Namma Bengaluru Foundation, said. Justice Santosh Hegde-headed committee will decide the additional amount required to set up the STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants) to be provided by the state, which is liable to pay interest for delay or non-payment.

The tribunal also asked the Karnataka government to follow the May 31, 2018 Panjwani committee recommendations on restoring the lakes.

Ram Prasad, the advocate representing JD(S) Rajya Sabha MP Kupendra Reddy said no waste should be disposed in lakes and rajakaluves.

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‘Punish officials who let pollution in lakes’

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