You can’t ruin city, NGT tells Bengaluru authorities

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Castigating the Karnataka government agencies over the fire in Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday asked the officials to list out the steps taken so far to revive the water body.

The highly polluted Bellandur Lake on February 17 caught fire due to toxic effluents in it. According to reports, the fire could be seen for three hours.

A bench headed by NGT chief Justice Swatantar Kumar directed the Bangalore Development Authority and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board to file an affidavit within two weeks explaining what steps they have taken for preservation of the lakes in the city.

“It was an air-cooled city, but you have made the mockery of environment. You can’t ruin the city…explain why should we not prosecute you under the Environment Protection Act, 1986,” Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

Bellandur Lake, the largest of the 262 lakes and tanks in Bengaluru, receives about 40 per cent of the city’s sewage. Previously, in May 2015 and August 2016, froth over the Bellandur Lake had caught fire due to formation of flammable methane gas.

The Union Environment Ministry 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 (STPs) are defunct, only 600 million litre sewage is treated and the rest goes to the lakes.

The central government had in April 2016 said that it will invest Rs 800 crore to rejuvenate lakes in Bengaluru, especially the Bellandur Lake.

–IANS

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