Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has finally woken up to the weed and garbage filling up Bellandur lake, after the water body caught fire once again on Thursday evening.
On Friday morning, a team of officials including the state pollution control board Chairman Lakshman inspected the lake and nearby areas. Speaking to The News Minute, Lakshman said that notices have been issued to the city’s municipal corporation (BBMP), the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and the city’s water supply and sewage board (BWSSB) to take immediate measures to curb similar incidents in the future.
The pollution control board has also served notices to as many as sixteen apartments in the vicinity, after their sewage treatment plants (STP) were found to be dysfunctional. BDA has been asked to immediately de-weed the lake.
"Garbage, construction debris and untreated sewage has been dumped into the lake for decades now, causing the fire. An expert committee headed by Mahindra Jain was formed eight months ago to formulate short term and long term recommendations to rejuvenate the Bellandur lake. The committee gave its recommendations last month. We have now given instructions to all the government bodies concerned, to implement the guidelines on priority," Lakshman said.
The expert committee has recommended de-weeding, aerating the lake, installing artificial aerators, and speeding up the process of installing STPs.
But while the pollution control board has finally take cognizance of the issue, the other bodies in charge are not so forthcoming. In fact, an official at BWSSB chose to sing the same old tune of the board requiring ‘more time’ to install STPs.
"The construction work is already on, but we must understand that the lake has been polluted for many years now. This was even before Bellandur became part of BWSSB in 2007. The board cannot undo the damage in a day or two. We need at least two more years to install the STPs," the official said.
MLA of Shantinagar constituency NA Haris, who visited the spot along with the officials of Pollution Control Board, however, claimed that the government, even Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, has taken the matter "seriously."
Speaking to The News Minute, the MLA said that the government will take all the measures to save the lake.
"Years of garbage dumping has created chemical content in the lake, which catches fire every now and then. This is not a new concern as far as Bellandur is concerned. But what we need to focus on now is to prevent future occurrences. The previous government was not bothered about this, but we assure the residents that our government is," MLA Haris said.