STP battle leaves officials in a bind

STP battle leaves officials in a bind

STRAP: Say govt and green tribunal instructions contradictory

BENGALURU, DHNS: Confusion reigns among officials a day after the government said it would relax rules making sewage treatment plants compulsory for apartment complexes.

Minister K J George announced the suspension of the penalty clause on Thursday, but officials said they would have to follow contrary instructions from the National Green Tribunal.

George, who handles the Bengaluru development and town planning portfolios, said contentious rules on STPs would be amended soon, and the BBMP would pass a resolution adopting them.

Following a hue and cry over retrospective implementation of the STP rule, George said it would only be implemented prospectively.

Older apartments, represented by the Bangalore Apartments' Federation (BAF), had taken to the streets to oppose mandatory STPs for them.

Apartment complexes with 20 houses or less, which have already linked their sewers to underground drainage, are exempted from installing compulsory STPs, George said.

About 50+ blocks

Reiterating what DH reported on December 14, BWSSB chairman Tushar Girinath said apartment complexes with 50 houses, old or new, would have to compulsorily install STPs.

The rule is applicable even if they are letting out their sewer into underground drains, he said.

Pollution regulations

A Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) regulation lays down that all apartment complexes, old or new, must install STPs, he told DH.

This December 2015 rule has to be modified to exempt apartments, he contended.

Lakshman, chairperson of the Pollution Control Board, said his officials were acting on instructions from the National Green Tribunal and under the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974.

BoX

What's clear now

* BWSSB penalty for non-installation of STPs suspended for now.

* Apartments with 20 houses or less, letting their sewage into underground drainage, need not set up STPs.

* Apartments with 50 or more houses, old or new, must set up STPs.

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