Following the fire on Bengaluru's Bellandur lake which raged on for several hours, Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George has alleged that people looking to defame the city are using the opportunity to do so.
George is the Minister for Bengaluru Development and Town Planning. He had to face heat recently after another fire erupted in the Bellandur lake area. The fire incidents had previously occurred in 2016 and 2017.
‚ÄúMethane gas is produced in marshy lands (like Bellandur). However, they do not combust spontaneously. Though the fire occurred in the lake premises, it was depicted as if the lake had caught fire. People who are in the expert committee formed for the rejuvenation of lakes criticised us on television channels,‚ÄĚ he said speaking to The New Indian Express.
‚ÄúSome people are trying to malign Bengaluru‚Äôs image. Such people will be taught an appropriate lesson,‚ÄĚ he said.
The fire had broken out during the final stage of rejuvenation of Bellandur and Varthur lakes when sewage treatment plants where already being installed to prevent polluted water entering the lake. The Minister was speaking at a programme in CV Raman Nagar.
According to fire officials on the ground, recurring fires are due to multiple layers of garbage in the lake bed. "Even if the fire is out on the surface, the underlying heat can lead to a spark elsewhere. Efforts are on to cool down the entire area, so there is no fire again," a senior fireman told TNM.
The fire, which was spotted on Friday morning, took a political turn with opposition BJP leaders demanding the resignation of KJ George over the lack of planning in preventing recurring lake fires.
Union Minister for Human Resource Development and BJP in-charge for Karnataka Prakash Javdekar described the incident as a ‚Äėman-made disaster‚Äô caused by the inaction of George. The minister visited the lake on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, KJ George has convened a meeting of activists, environmentalists and civic officials to discuss the rejuvenation of Bellandur lake. The meeting will be attended by authorities of Bengaluru Development Association (BDA), Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA).