Bellandur Lake wardens get more teeth, empowered to penalise polluters

Bellandur Lake wardens get more teeth, empowered to penalise polluters

Rather than being helpless bystanders, Bellandur Lake wardens are given the power to take action against those polluting it further.

A meeting of residents around the lake with Bangalore Development Authority Commissioner Rakesh Singh decided to empower the lake wardens to penalise those stealthily dumping garbage into the lakebed in the night and the encroachment, which the wardens have been powerless to control so far.

Wardens can hitherto watch and report such violations to the government. Now, they will have challan slips to issue spot fines, said a member of Citizen Watch Group, Sonali Singh, who was at the meeting.

At the meeting - the third with the commissioner on rejuvenation, apart from the NGT or expert committee meetings - over 30 citizens varyingly expressed appreciation, concern and anguish on improving the lake.

Bellandur Lake, sprawling over 951 acres, has 12 lake wardens.

"They are being given power to help serving marshals on duty. There will be no contradiction or change in the work of the marshals," said Singh, head of the Bellandur Rejuvenation Committee and a member of the citizens committee for Bellandur Lake.

"Lake wardens will only help the marshals and will also penalise offenders," he added.

The BDA will issue printed slips to the wardens in a few days, while the Palike would give them authorisation letters to act against the violators.

At the meeting, citizens also complained that the minor irrigation department is sending treated water to Kolar through pipes, which should not be done.

Instead, they should send water to Bellandur and Varthur Lakes and water downstream should be treated and sent to Kolar.

The BDA commissioner has called a meeting of all stakeholders in two days to assess the situation.

It also discussed continuing the weeding out process in the lake, stopping spreading of hyacinth by putting up false barricades and clearing them with JCBs.

It also decided to create wetlands around the lake to purify water, expediting installation of sewage treatment plants, besides controlling the stench emanating from the lake, especially between 2 am and 4 am.

The meeting discussed the powers and authority of the marshals and ways to complete putting up the sluice gates before the onset of monsoon. Erecting sludge traps in rajakaluves to filter out waste, clearing hyacinth from the lakebed and fencing the waterbody at the earliest were also discussed.

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