The NGT had earlier directed the state to deposit Rs 500 crore and also levied a fine of Rs 75 crore for “environmental degradation of lakes”.

Bellandur lake fine NGT dismisses Karnataka governments plea to reverse NGT order
news Environment Friday, February 08, 2019 - 08:44

In the latest turn of events regarding the fine imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the Karnataka government and Bengaluru Bruhat Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for not cleaning Bellandur lake, the Supreme Court (SC) has rejected the state’s plea of reversing the NGT order.

On Thursday, the SC dismissed the Karnataka state government’s demands to not pay the fine which had earlier been imposed by the NGT. In its final order dated December 6, the NGT had directed the state to deposit a total of Rs 500 crore in an escrow account. It had also levied a penalty of Rs 75 crore on the Government of Karnataka and the BBMP for “environmental degradation of lakes.” A fire which occurred in Bellandur Lake in February 2017 led to the NGT taking suo motu cognisance of the issue.

“The NGT has repeatedly reprimanded the Government of Karnataka and parastatal agencies for failing to protect the lake and its failure to discharge its duties to society. It has even stated that their sheer colossal neglect has caused immense harm to innumerable citizens and the brunt of which will be borne by several generations,” stated the press release issued by Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), an organisation which intervened in the issue recognising the environmental impact.

Expressing satisfaction at the SC’s decision, NBF Director, Suresh NR said, “SC decision to dismiss the review petition by State Government of Karnataka is reassuring and is another victory for Namma Bengaluru, its lakes and water bodies. NGT had rightly ordered the state government to deposit Rs. 500 Cr in an escrow account and levied Rs 75 Cr penalty for degradation of Bellandur lake. We urge the government to immediately implement the order in word and spirit.”

The NGT had earlier stated that the state government was neglecting lakes in the city and was not making proper efforts to protect them. It further asked the government to control pollution and added that water pollution was a criminal offence.