The Karnataka government was left red-faced at the National Green Tribunal after officials were pulled up for failing to contain the pollution problem at Bellandur Lake.
The green court issued summons to top state government officials and sought an explanation from them about the steps taken by the government to prevent pollution in the lake.
The court has asked four questions to which state government officials have to reply by August 22.
1. How many Rajakaluve (Storm Water Drain) has the government cleared?
2. How much waste has the government collected from the storm water drains, particularly the ones by the Lake?
3. Where is the waste being dumped?
4. What preventive steps is the state taking?
According to a report by Ajith Athrady for Deccan Herald, the NGT Principal bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar directed that the Additional Chief Secretary to the Department of Urban Development and the Chief Executive Officer of the Lake Development Authority be present in the court on August 22. The court also asked the officials to submit a compliance report on the NGT orders passed on April 19.
In February, the NGT had taken suo motu cognisance of the deplorable condition of the lake when it caught fire for the second time, and had sent notices to all state agencies responsible for maintaining the lake.
When the Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), which is involved in the case, told the court that the lake has again started frothing following the recent rains, the state government pleaded that it could not take responsibility for the unforeseeable situation caused by cloudburst.
However, the NGT refused to accept this justification, pointing out that no cloudburst can lead to smoke and froth on the lake.
The state government also submitted a memo of steps taken by the government according to the NGT orders, while seeking more time to file a detailed reply.
Unconvinced by the memo, and the submissions, the Tribunal sought the views of NBF.
NBF told the Tribunal that the Karnataka government is completely uninterested and unconcerned with the safety of citizens and well-being of the environment. NBF also submitted video and audio clips of the situation faced by residents affected by the foam.