A video shot by Whitefield Rising, a citizen movement, shows how the rampant encroachment of the Varthur lake in Bengaluru continues despite a recent National Green Tribunal order criticising the government for its inaction in protecting the city's lakes.
Taken on Sunday morning by a member of the group, the visuals show little hills of mud lying around the boundary of the lake. Two JCBs can be seen working in the background.
The member alleged that the JCBs have been tasked with "levelling the place and pushing the mud into the lake bed".
The member told The News Minute that this had been going on for a while now. "But it accelerated in the last 10-15 days. Last night around 100 trucks came here and dumped the mud. It went on till 6 am this morning."
The driver of one of the JCBs informed them that they had been told to push the mud into the lake.
"We aren't sure who is behind the encroachment. But we have taken down the truck numbers. And we have shared information to the DCP and the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA). They all know this," the member said.
"In fact, we had told Vidyasagar (KLCDA chief executive) about the encroachment last week when he had gone to Delhi to hear the NGT ruling. We are now sharing this with the media because there has been no movement. Even after the NGT ruling came out, there is no stopping this," the member added.
A survey carried out by Whitefield Rising further found that a buffer zone of 75m from the Varthur Lake has not been maintained.
The survey report also stated that that waste was possibly being dumped into the lake but that it can be only confirmed after a detailed survey.
Earlier this month, the National Green Tribunal pulled up the Karnataka government for the highly polluted state of the Bellandur lake in Bengaluru.
Criticizing the government for its action, the NGT said that it would issue restraining directions if the government does not immediately stop polluting the lake.