Days after Bellandur lake caught fire, Bellandur and Varthur Lake citizens groups on Monday held a meeting with Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George and officials from various civic bodies to raise their concerns.
The meeting was 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). They discussed the rejuvenation of Bellandur and Varthur lakes and pressed officials to implement the Expert Committee Report published in 2016.
The citizens group also pointed out officials should complete fencing of the lake area, identify, clean and develop wetlands, appoint lake wardens, publish charter of authority and responsibility, remove encroachment from lakes among a number of other responsibilities.
They also demanded that officials evict illegal waste-processing units in lake beds, desilt, install aerators and fountains, review how medical wastes from clinics and hospitals are handled and eliminate debris generated by metro.
The timeline decided for most actions was ‘immediate’ or before the next quarter.
The meeting discussing the rejuvenation of the lakes comes on the same day the National Green Tribunal slammed the Karnataka state government for not adhering to its directive on reviving Bellandur lake.
The Expert Committee report details installation of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in and around the lake area by 2020. The BWSSB made a commitment to Bellandur residents that 80% of sewage entering the lake will be treated by February-end, at the meeting on Monday.
‘Sewage treatment is permanent solution’
The permanent solution to the recurring problem of frothing and combustion leading to fire in the lake is to arrest the inflow of sewage into the lake. "Cleaning of garbage is a temporary relief to the problem in the lake. The permanent solution is to arrest the inflow of sewage into the lake. By 2020, they are going to complete the construction of STP's to treat water of required capacity in Bellandur”, said Lakshman, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) chairman.
The Bellandur lake caught fire for the first time this year on Friday. Plumes of smoke emanated from the lake for over a day, forcing officials to carry out an extensive operation involving 50 firemen and thousands of army personnel to douse the flames.