Central panel unhappy with pace of Bellandur restoration

List contents, committee to tell detergent manufacturers

Central panel unhappy with pace of Bellandur restoration

A parliamentary standing committee inspected the progress of cleaning the polluted Bellandur lake on Tuesday.

The parliamentary standing committee on urban development headed by Pinaki Misra along with other members, including Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha member P C Mohan, enquired with officials on the progress of the work which is directly being monitored by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Speaking to DH, Mohan said the work on restoring Bellandur and Varthur lakes was very slow. Mohan questioned the officials of the urban development department as to why only four machines were being used to clear weeds.

He was not convinced with the reply of the officials that there was a shortage of machines. He said if that was the case, the state could have written to the Centre, seeking funds and machinery to revive the water bodies.

The 31-member committee, which interacted with local residents and members of Whitefield Rising, agreed that the lakes were not only contaminated with sewage, but also with phosphates and phosphorus found mostly in detergents and soaps.

“These nutrients are banned in Western countries, but companies from these countries are using them in India. These are harmful to all water bodies in India. We will direct the detergent manufacturers to at least start by listing the contents and percentage of each of them in the product, so that people are aware,” said a committee member.

The two lakes have been in the news over the last few weeks because of frothing and fire incidents, forcing the NGT to take up a suo motu case against the government and directing it to improve their quality.

Misra said, earlier in the day, the committee conducted a three-hour-long audit of Bengaluru’s traffic and polluted lakes. “We will recommend zero sewage discharge. Whether it is industrial effluents or domestic sewage, untreated sewage should not be let in to these lakes,” he said.

The MPs rode on Namma Metro from Kempegowda station to Baiyappanahalli and from there, they travelled to Varthur Kodi in a BMTC Volvo bus.
DH News Service

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