Apartments near Bellandur lake to get closure notices

KSPCB inspection finds them 'biggest polluters'; commercial spaces, educational institutes also under lens

Apartments near Bellandur lake to get closure notices

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is gearing up to crack down on more than 500 apartment complexes, commercial establishments and educational institutions located around Bellandur and Varthur lakes and their catchment areas in order to prevent them from polluting the waterbodies.

On June 8, the KSPCB started inspecting apartment complexes, commercial establishments and educational institutions measuring 2,000 square feet or more and having 20 units or more. It has identified 547 of them. If no hindrances occur, the board will go on to slap closure notices on them by the end of June, Vijay Kumar, Member Secretary, KSPCB, told DH.

KSPCB officials are inspecting these places under Section 33 (A) of the Air and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Acts, and the exercise is not linked to the directions of the National Green Tribunal, he added.

According to Kumar, this is the first time that the board is undertaking a drive of this scale against apartment complexes.

“We have found that they are the biggest polluters. Last year, KSPCB and BWSSB officials inspected 157 apartment complexes around the two lakes and their catchment areas. This year the number has increased to 500,” he said.

That’s not all. KSPCB officials also inspected five microbreweries located in the catchment area of Bellandur lake and found three of them to be violating the prescribed norms. A KSPCB official, who was part of the inspection, did not want to name the microbreweries until the final report is signed by KSPCB Chairman, Lakshman.

“Closure orders are likely to be issued to three microbreweries. Although they share a common sewage treatment plant (STP), they have failed to follow the norms on the scientific disposal of liquid and toxic waste,” he said.

Although the board has authorised its regional officers to issue closure notices on the spot by making use of the provisions of the Act, they are preparing a consolidated report.

“Closure orders will be issued based on the report. As a last chance, the board will give them time to instal individual or common STPs and discharge only treated sewage into the lake. If they fall in line, the closure orders will be revoked,” Kumar said.

This apart, KSPCB officials are checking all water-based units. They are checking STPs, whether they functioning or not, and how the industries have been sharing common STPs. At a future date, the KSPCB will inspect industries, apartment blocks and commercial spaces located around Vrushabhavathy Valley, which were recently given warnings.

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