Lake rejuvenation: NGT warns Karnataka official to jail

Storm water drain connected to T Dasarahalli Lake, in Bengaluru. (Photo/ B H Shivakumar)

Slamming the Karnataka Government for failure to follow its order on rejuvenating lakes in Bengaluru City, the National Green Tribunal Act has warned the top civic officials to put behind the bar.

The NGT principal bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel in its order pertaining to pollution in Bellanduru, Agara and Varthur lakes in Bengaluru, said that "Suffice it to say that the State of Karnataka has shown lack of concern on such a sensitive matter in spite of stringent orders of this Tribunal which is not conducive to the rule of law."

"Having regard to the significance of the issue involved and repeated failures of the State and its Authorities, we direct the Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development), Karnataka, Commissioner, BBMP, Commissioner, BDA, Chairman, BWSSB and the Member Secretary,
State PCB to remain present on the next date with the compliance reports and explanation why coercive action including civil imprisonment be not ordered for the violations of the orders of this Tribunal," the order said.

The Tribunal posted the matter for next hearing on November 27.

Earlier, a committee headed by Justice Santosh Hegde, which was formed by the bench to check whether the state government had complied its order in cleaning and protecting the water bodies.

The panel in its report to the NGT found various deficiencies by the state government agencies including failure to set up sufficient number of Sewerage Treatment Plants.  

Noting the panel report, the bench also observed that de-silting and de-weeding has not been done, illegal dumping of construction waste were not removed, no information about setting up of Real Time Water Quality Monitoring Systems. There is no information about action taken against the erring officers, the bench said.

"There is also non-compliance with regard to deposit of Rs. 25 Crores by BBMP and furnishing of performance guarantee in the sum of Rs.100 Crores by the State of Karnataka for which there is no explanation," the bench said.

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