A day after a massive fire erupted in Bellandur Lake, Bengaluru Development Minister K J George accused the Centre of refusing funds for rejuvenating the Ã§ity's largest waterbody.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, he said the Centre had "categorically turned down" the state government's requests for funds for cleaning Bellandur and other lakes in the city. "The Opposition claims the state government failed to clean the lake in spite of the Centre sanctioning funds for the purpose. This is a blatant lie. The truth is that the Centre didn't respond to the state's requests for funds. It categorically said it cannot sanction separate funds for this purpose," he added.
George said he had urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to sanction separate funds for the development of lakes in the state's budget for 2018-19.
He insisted that the state government had taken adequate steps to clean the lake as directed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) issued notices to the owners of buildings releasing wastewater into the lake as per the NGT orders, he added.
The minister further said the police had been ordered to establish the cause of the fire. He, however, said the fire was unlikely to have originated in the lake. "The marshy area around the lake is full of grass and weeds. It's the breeding ground for ammonium gases that cause the fire," he added.