HC stay won't affect cleaning operations at Bellandur lake

HC stay won't affect cleaning operations at Bellandur lake

HC stay won't affect cleaning operations at Bellandur lake
Officials from the urban development department and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board have decided to continue the cleaning drive in Bellandur Lake.

Urban development department officials said a team of lawyers will review the stay order issued by the Karnataka High Court on Thursday. Meanwhile, the orders have been shared with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for examination and further guidelines, by a team of legal experts.

Mahendra Jain, additional chief secretary, UDD, told DH, “Cleaning the lake was on the agenda of the state government and it was recommended by the expert committee even before the NGT issued its orders. So, it will continue. Yes, the time given by the committee was more than what was scheduled by the NGT. However, the government has set a deadline and we will adhere to it.” He added that after clearing weeds and checking inflow of untreated sewage, desilting will continue.

KSPCB chairman Lakshman said that apart from the expert committee’s recommendations, the Board is also following the Supreme Court orders directing all pollution control boards to ensure that water bodies are free from pollution. Besides, the Board follows rules issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests through the Central Pollution Control Board.

“We have been issuing closure orders to industries around Bellandur lake and its catchment areas under section 33 (A) of the Air and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. According to the Act, the Board is empowered to conduct inspection and close down polluting industries around all water bodies,” Lakshman said.

Members of Whitefield Rising and residents around Bellandur lake opine that it is the moral responsibility and duty of the government to ensure that water bodies are not polluted.

“Though delayed, the government was doing its duty and irrespective of the orders, it should rejuvenate Bellandur lake,” said Lokesh, a resident near Bellandur lake.