Bengaluru's Bellandur lake has less than 1 ml clean water, expert panel tells NGT; encroachment, waste dumping to blame

Bengaluru's biggest lake, Bellandur, has become even more toxic, a committee set up by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has said, holding that there is less than 1 millilitre of clean water in it.

As part of a 329-page report submitted to the NGT, the panel has held that the lake is "filled with sewage, effluents, solid waste, weeds, debris et al," as reported by Deccan Herald, terming the situation as a state of "environmental emergency". On 11 June, the article said, the report was also shared with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and other stakeholders. "It is of utmost importance to take up construction of sewage treatment plants. By sheer callousness and indifference of the authorities, the biggest lake has become the largest septic tank," the panel was quoted as saying in the report.

File image of a fire at Bellandur lake. PTI

File image of a fire at Bellandur lake. PTI

The commission further noted that directions issued to the NGT have not been complied with since untreated sewage continues to flow indiscriminately and pollutes the lakes.

The situation at Varthur Lake may be even worse. A separate article on India Today said the commission even found evidence of a road being constructed at the Varthur lake, and construction and demolition waste was being dumped here under the pretext of laying a pipeline.

"The condition of Varthur Lake is no better — in fact, worse than Bellandur Lake in almost every aspect from fire to froth and from sewage to stink. Varthur is an aggravated calamity by the sheer volume of filth that is dumped in it without any ecological sensitivity," Deccan Herald quoted the commission as having said.

The situation at Bellandur is so bad that the lake caught fire on 12 separate occasions between 12 August 2016 and the present date, The Times of India wrote. But with encroachments and wanton dumping of waste continuing to take place at the lakes, the blame ultimately lies with the authorities, both civic and legislative.

In response, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the government organisation that's the principal planning authority for the city, and the body which acts as the custodian for Bellandur lake, said de-weeding and work on installation of the sluice gate are underway in full swing. "We will soon file our compliance report before NGT. The froth is also due to soaps and detergents that are part of the sewage entering the lake," BL Ravindra Babu, engineer member of BDA, was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

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Updated Date: Jun 14, 2018 11:22:05 IST

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