Explain Bellandur lake fire: NGT to govt

Explain Bellandur lake fire: NGT to govt
The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday issued notices to the Karnataka government and its agencies for Thursday’s fire at the Bellandur lake.

The principal bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said, “We are surprised at the apathy prevailing in the functioning of the statutory bodies and the state government.”

The government has conceded the fire broke out because of municipal waste being dumped in the lake, the tribunal said.

“What do you think you are doing? You are the authority for maintaining lakes in the city. Don’t you think you have some responsibility? You are making a mockery of the environment. You can’t ruin a city like Bengaluru,” the bench said.

It also sought a report, in two weeks, on action taken to rejuvenate water bodies. Prior to the hearing, Mahendra Jain, additional chief secretary to the Karnataka government’s urban development department, submitted a report on the status of lakes in Bengaluru.

“We issue show-cause notices to all authorities as to why we should not direct their prosecution under the Environment Protection Act, 1986,” the green panel said, expressing unhappiness over the functioning of the Bangalore Development Authority, the Lake Development Authority and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board. The next hearing is on March 20.

On February 20, the NGT took suo motu cognizance of the fire at the lake, Bengaluru’s largest water body.
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