New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday summoned top officials from Karnataka and asked them to come up with a plan and status report over pollution in Bengaluru’s Bellandur lake.
A bench headed by NGT chief Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the Secretary of Karnataka’s Urban Development Ministry and Lake Development Authority to submit an action plan on cleaning the lake within ten days.
The NGT also asked the Secretary to make a statement on record over the present situation of the highly polluted Bellandur lake, which the top official could not.
“Come back with a action plan on how the lake would be cleaned and the status report of the situation of pollution in the lake,” the bench directed the officials.
Last week, the NGT called on top officials of the Karnataka government seeking an explanation on the action taken by them.
The NGT was informed that fresh froth has emanated from Bellandur lake and spread on to the streets of the surrounding. The local residents had also been complaining of a pungent stench from the lake.
Earlier on April 19, the NGT ordered all industries around the lake to be shut and imposed Rs five lakh fine on anyone found dumping waste in and around the lake.
The green panel in April gave the state authorities one month’s time to free the lake of all pollutants.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) then said that it would soon draw an action plan to comply with the NGT order.
However, the authorities failed to provide the status report of the lake even four months after the order.
The highly polluted Bellandur lake caught fire on February 17 due to toxic effluents in it.
Bellandur lake, the largest of the 262 lakes and tanks in Bengaluru, receives about 40 per cent of the city’s sewage.
The Union Environment Ministry had last year said that everyday about 1,280 million litres of sewage is generated in Bengaluru, while the city’s infrastructure has the capacity to handle only 721 million litres of sewage.
Since 137 out of 500 sewage treatment plants are defunct, only 600 million litres sewage is treated and the rest goes to the lakes.
The central government had in April 2016 said that it would invest Rs 800 crore to rejuvenate the lakes in Bengaluru, especially the Bellandur lake.
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.