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Govt acts on BWSSB, PWD engineers over polluted Bellandur, Varthur lakes

An activist said fixing the responsibility in such cases was a big challenge
Last Updated : 07 March 2021, 21:10 IST
Last Updated : 07 March 2021, 21:10 IST
Last Updated : 07 March 2021, 21:10 IST
Last Updated : 07 March 2021, 21:10 IST

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In a move to make officials accountable for the pollution of the Bellandur and Varthur lakes, the government has initiated action against 11 senior BWSSB engineers and four PWD junior engineers.

In its December 18, 2019 order, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed the government to act on erring officials, including those retired. The tribunal also said the failures must be reflected in the annual confidential records of officials still in service.

The direction was specifically aimed at Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), which have come under fire over the pollution of the lakes.

The Urban Development Department (UDD) that looks after the three agencies has said the charges have been submitted to the PWD for action against three assistant engineers and one assistant executive engineer.

In BWSSB, notice has been served to nearly 11 officials at the rank of chief engineer, additional chief engineer and executive engineers after obtaining government approval. However, officials have sought additional details and time to respond to the notice.

The department had also issued notice to three officials from BDA, the lakes’ custodian. However, as their reply was found “acceptable”, no action is likely to be taken against them.

Sources within the government, however, pointed out that the officials have been punished for the government’s mistake.

“The engineers are appointed to the post and will execute the work if it is sanctioned. Successive governments sat on the issue of protecting and conserving the city lakes. If there is no allocation of funds, what can an engineer do?” the source said.

An activist said fixing the responsibility in such cases was a big challenge.

“The lake didn’t get polluted overnight. It took decades of exploitation and indifference at the highest level of governance. The accountability should begin at the level of the decision makers, not with those who do the job assigned to them,” he said.

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Published 07 March 2021, 20:26 IST

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