Curb Koramangala growth to save Bellandur lake, says IISc study

Curb Koramangala growth to save Bellandur lake, says IISc study

To ensure that there are no fires, flooding and frothing of Bellandur Lake, researchers from the IISc have suggested curtailing further growth of Koramangala and surrounding areas.

The latest report of the Energy and Wetland Research Group, Indian Institute of Science, titled "Unabated Violations in Agara and Bellandur Wetlands", suggests that there is a need to stop further choking of Koramanagala.

Prof T V Ramachandra, who headed the five-member team, said the state government has violated many rules. To set things right, the first step is to control concretisation. "There is a need to stop industrialisation and commercialisation around Agara and Bellandur wetland region. Koramanagala is an important area of this region, where growth needs to be checked," he said. Ramachandra is also the co-author of the research paper.

The report also suggests shifting of the proposed SEZ (in Bellandur-Agara wetlands) to another part of Karnataka. State government agencies, especially Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), should stop issuing no-objection certificates (NOC) to major building projects as there is insufficient water in the city.  

He explained that these suggestions were made since the existing storm water drains have become narrow. The lake is also full to the brim and the channels connecting the lakes have been broken. There are no sewage treatment plants to manage the waste. The team has also suggested looking into instances of negligence by government officials.

He pointed out that though the BDA had declared this area a No Development Zone in its comprehensive development plan (CDP) 2005 and 2015, the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board had listed it as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The study also points out that despite orders issued by National Green Tribunal (NGT), the state government has been unable to control encroachment, dumping of plastic and solid waste at the lake. The findings and suggestions listed in the report were prepared after the team visited the lake on December 12, 2017.

Ramachandra said that illegal occupation of the wetland continues unabated. The valley zone is protected under the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Act rules 2015, Bangalore Development Authority rules and Wetland (Conservation and Management) rules of 2010 and 2016. By not protecting the water body and not maintaining the water quality, the government departments have violated the National Environmental Policy 2006 and National Water Policy of 2002.

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