Apartments around Bellandur, Varthur lake worried

Apartments around Bellandur, Varthur lake worried

Apartments around Bellandur, Varthur lake worried

Residents of apartment complexes around Bellandur and Varthur Lakes question how they can be ordered to install sewage treatment plants when the government considers their buildings illegal.

At least 92 of the 99 of these complexes are illegal and are awaiting regularisation under the Akrama Sakrama scheme.

On Monday, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to ensure that sewage treatment plants (STPs) are set up in 99 apartment complexes around Bellandur and Varthur Lakes.  

An apartment owner who has been slapped with the KSPCB notice questioned: "How can the government ask us to invest on STPs on sites which they are yet to legalise? How can the government or the NGT expect us to pump in more money on STPs?"  

Various association members are now questioning why their apartments are being targeted. Some apartment owners have also decided to challenge the government in the court again.

"The government is passing on the responsibility of setting up STPs on to apartment dwellers. We contribute just a small percentage of the total pollution,''  Sonali Singh, resident and member of Citizen Watch Group said.

BBMP is diverting sewage from upstream water bodies to keep Halasuru Lake clean. As a ripple effect, Bellandur Lake is taking a beating," Sonali pointed out.

"KSPCB and BWSSB should make public the discharge from tech parks, commercial buildings and hospitals around these lakes before asking residents to follow rules," she said.

Nagesh Aras, a resident of an apartment complex in Bellandur village said NGT has directed installing STPs in catchment areas which stretch from Mehkri Circle to Electronics City and Mavalli area to Varthur.

"So, I wonder about this magic figure of 99. The government and courts have forgotten about Vrishabhavathy and Hebbal valleys. KSPCB has turned a blind to polluters in areas like Anepalya and Kalasipalyam, but is targeting car washing units around Bellandur Lake," he pointed.

Dr Priyanka Jamwal, Fellow at Centre for Environmental Development at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (Atree) said all STPs cannot clean phosphates and nitrates which are the main cause of algae bloom in lakes. Wetlands clean them, but their protection finds no mention.

KPSCB chairman Lakshman said the 99 apartments are those not permitted by BWSSB and KSPCB. The list will be posted on the KSPCB website on Wednesday. "The board is waiting for the NGT order copy to hold a meeting with apartments and the BWSSB before starting work on the ground," he said.


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