Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru catches fire again, officials suspect local grass harvesters caused blaze

Bengaluru: Barely a fortnight after a blaze broke out at the city's polluted Bellandur Lake, the water body caught fire again.

It broke out on Thursday afternoon and was doused by night after a joint operation by the Fire Department and the army, Fire Department officials said.

Smoke billows from a fire in middle of the wetlands of the severely-polluted Bellandur lake, in Bengaluru. PTI

Smoke billows from a fire in the middle of the wetlands of the severely-polluted Bellandur lake, in Bengaluru. PTI

"We got information around 4 pm. When we reached the fire was at two or three spots. Couple of them were the same where it was noticed last time, and another was near the Sarjapur Road area. Three fire tenders along with 25 of our men were rushed to the spot," Chief Fire Officer Basavanna said.

Stating that about 20 members of the army also joined the operation, he said, "The fire was doused by around 6.30-7 pm."

Local residents said the smoke was first seen at around 3.30 pm, but it died after some time and added that smoke started emanating again at around 5.30 pm and flames were also noticed at a couple of places.

While officials said the reason for the fire is yet to be ascertained, they suspected the handiwork of local grass harvesters in igniting the fire.

On 19 January, fire at the lake close to the perimeter of the Iblur firing range was put out with the efforts of more than 5,000 army personnel and firefighting equipment of ASC College and Centre, along with the Fire Department.

The incident had resulted in massive public outrage.

Spread over 1,000 acres near the infotech hub, the lake is highly contaminated, receiving 60 percent of the sewage generated in the city.

The lake is in a bad shape despite the National Green Tribunal pulling up the government and its various agencies for failing to prevent pollution and not doing enough to restore the lake.

The Bellandur lake had caught fire in May 2015 and August 2016 as well. In 2015, the lake had turned into a frothy, foam-filled water body due to the high concentration of pollutants in the water.

Foam from the lake spilling onto the roads and surrounding areas have become common when the city receives heavy rain.

The nearby Varthur lake was also in national focus when it had caught fire in May, 2017 after some garbage was set ablaze.

Updated Date: Feb 02, 2018 14:49 PM

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