NGT orders immediate closure of industries around Bellandur lake

NGT orders immediate closure of industries around Bellandur lake

The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday ordered the immediate and complete closure of all industries around Bellandur lake in Bengaluru.

They can reopen after they are inspected, and their effluent discharge levels are certified as within permissible limits. The tribunal also directed the authorities to collect a fine of Rs 5 lakh from anyone dumping waste in and around the lake. A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, chairman of the tribunal, told the various agencies of the Karnataka government to clean up the lake within a month. It also sought an action-taken report in two weeks.

The lake has been in the news for foaming caused by effluents. In February, a fire broke out, with the 3.6 sqkm waterbody being covered by a thick cloud of smoke.

The green panel said, "All industries located in the vicinity of Bellandur lake and discharging effluents are hereby directed to be closed...."

"No industry is permitted to operate unless inspection by a joint inspection team is conducted and analysis of effluents is found to be within permissible limits," the bench, which also comprised Justice R S Rathore, said, at the end of a two-hour hearing.

Inspection team

The green bench directed the state government to set up a joint inspection team headed by Urban Development Department Additional Chief Secretary Mahendra Jain, with officials of the rank of Additional Secretary and above as members. The task of the committee will be to implement the NGT's order.

It will have members from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA), Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and Lake Development Authority (LDA). The bench also directed the BDA, BBMP and LDA to clean the lake, block all sewage water, and remove silt within a month.

It also asked the government to ensure that all apartments and industries around the lake set-up sewage treatment plants immediately, and stop dumping waste in the buffer zone (75 metres) of the lake.

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