As clean-up deadline about to end, CM visits Bellandur lake

As clean-up deadline about to end, CM visits Bellandur lake
With just a few days left for the expiry of the deadline set by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to clean Bellandur lake, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah visited the city’s largest waterbody on Monday. Speaking to journalists during the visit, he said he had ordered the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to clean up the lake on a war footing.

He sought to dispel the perception that the government paid attention to the polluted lake only after the NGT’s stern order. He said the government had formed the lake expert committee which got to work much before the NGT ruling.

According to the chief minister, measures have been put in place to start treatment of sewage water entering the lake. That apart, two weed harvesters and earthmovers are removing wild plants from the lake. More machines will be used if required, he added.

On April 19, the NGT had ordered government agencies to oversee cleaning of the lake, including de-silting, weeding and surface cleaning, within a month. Bengaluru Development Minister K J George, Mahadevapura MLA Aravind Limbavali, Shanthinagar MLA N A Haris and BBMP, BDA and BWSSB officials were present during the visit.

An official said it was the first time that the chief minister and George had visited the lake. “They didn’t come here when the lake had caught fire and when the NGT pulled up the government over the pathetic condition of the waterbody,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

P N Nayak, Engineer Member, BDA, said three more weed harvesters were arriving from Maharashtra, Goa and Hyderabad to speed up weeding. On average, around 200 tonnes of weeds are being cleared from the lake every day. The lake can be fully weeded before the NGT’s next hearing if more machines are pressed into service, he said.

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