NGT order on lake hailed, locals want industries shut

Factories are biggest source of effluents, say residents

NGT order on lake hailed, locals want industries shut
The National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order on cleaning the polluted Bellandur lake within a month has given a new ray of hope to local residents. They expect the state government to shut down the industries seen as the “biggest source” of sewage flow to Bengaluru’s largest lake.

K Jagannath, a former president of Bellandur gram panchayat, said the NGT order could not have come at a more opportune moment as the government was dragging its feet over reviving the lake in spite of admonition from the high court. “We are happy that the NGT has ordered the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to shut down the industries as they are the biggest source of sewage flow to the lake,” he added.

Srinivas R, a resident of Yemalur, said the government could clean up the lake in “two or three weeks” if it showed intent. A large amount of silt needs to be removed from the bottom of the lake, he added.

Local residents say the lake gets sewage not only from industries in Bellandur and the adjacent areas but also from Koramangala, Mysuru Road and Indiranagar. The amount of sewage entering the lake is estimated at 400 MLD (million litres per day).

‘A slap for BBMP’
Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar, too, lauded the NGT order. In a statement on Wednesday, he said the order was a “slap” for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Urban Development Department (UDD) “which, despite having been exposed multiple times, continue to be a front for builders and not the interest of the city and voices of the people”.

“I have witnessed the crass violations by government agencies and builders despite the area being declared ecologically sensitive. (The) effort to save Bellandur lake was started many years ago by ordinary citizens who had repeatedly raised concerns and frustrations at the government,” he added.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) Chairman, Lakshman, said the decision on closing down the industries would be taken only after they examined the NGT order.

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), which is responsible for the lake’s upkeep, is preparing to draw an action plan for the waterbody’s revival, an official said.

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