With half of Bengaluru's sewage going untreated into the lakes leading to rising pollution level, the Centre is planning to make it mandatory for all sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the city to install 24/7 monitoring systems.
Amid concern over rising pollution in these lakes, the Environment Ministry is also considering bringing in an overarching law for lake preservation in the city.
"There are three-four issues which as a regulatory Ministry we will deal with. We will put a condition of 24/7 monitoring on existing and future STPs, including residential and commercial ones.
"Norms will be upgraded. There was also a demand for a overarching law for lake preservation. We will also consider that. We will monitor the progress every six months," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said after co-chairing a two-hour review meeting for preservation and rejuvenation of city lakes with Union Minister Ananth Kumar, who is MP from Bengaluru.
Karnataka Environment and Ecology Minister Ramanath Rai, along with state officials, was present at the meeting.
Listing out the initiatives taken by the state government in this regard, Javadekar said it has banned plastic, formed an authority and prepared a lake by lake restoration plan with a timeline.
The corporate sector is also getting involved in preservation of lakes, he said.
"We will implement 24/7 monitoring. Local officers will also be empowered. Things do not happen overnight. This has happened as it was a backlog of 40-50 years. Half of Bengaluru's sewage goes untreated into the lakes. So we build capacities. This will take next three years. Things are on track," Javadekar said.
Union minister Kumar said the Environment Minister has assured him of bio-development of lakes in Bengaluru which will include parameters of oxygenisation of the lakes. "We will remove all pollution through STPs and various other measures," he said.
Recently, thousands of dead fish were washed ashore at Ulsoor lake raising concerns about water pollution in the city. The incident had come amidst growing concern by environmentalists over pollution in city lakes. Thick froth and flames from the Yamlur lake had caused ripples in the city last year.
There are 75 small and large lakes in and around Bengaluru.
Ministry sources said that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had last year issued directions to Karnataka State Pollution Control Board on contamination of Bellandur and Varthur lakes.
CPCB had under section 18 (1)(b) of the Water Act had directed that all local bodies in Karnataka will have to establish STPs. The waste water can only be released into water bodies after treating it.
The Ministry had earlier mandated 764 "grossly polluting" industries along the Ganga river in northern states to install 24/7 monitoring mechanism to curb pollution.