Just weeding Bellandur lake will not help: Saldanha

DH Spotlight: Experts, officials discuss solutions for Bellandur, Varthur lakes

Just weeding Bellandur lake will not help: Saldanha
Environment Support Group convener Leo Saldanha said the NGT was passing orders for quick-fix solutions as officials have failed to communicate the extent of the crisis in Bellandur lake.

“Closing down industries alone will not save Bellandur lake. Solid waste is dumped in stormwater drains. How can we expect the sewage treatment plants to work when the water they handle has so much of solid waste?” he asked.

Saldanha said clearing weeds does more harm than good. “Don’t look at hyacinth as a disease. Hyacinth draws the excess nutrition in water. It basically treats sewage water. If you remove all weeds, then you are letting raw sewage into water,” he said.

“I appeal to the NGT to consider the Justice N K Patil report which suggested lining the 840 km of storm water drains with trees, bamboos and grass shrubs. These will absorb all the waste, allowing only clean water to pass,” he said.

He said every programme of the government agencies in saving lakes showed how incompetent officials have been in understanding the ecosystems. But such quick-fix solutions will not help in the long run. This is a systemic failure and it needs a systematic response,” he said.

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