BENGALURU: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) pulled up the city’s civic authorities again for failing to act against those polluting Bellandur Lake and asked them to do some work instead of just preparing reports. “Don’t waste time on making 100-200-page reports, instead work,” were the tribunal’s exact words.
The Principal Bench of the NGT in New Delhi, which heard the petition on Thursday, rapped the state, polluting industries and apartment complexes. Apart from instructing the state to take a tough stand against the apartments and industries responsible for pollution, the tribunal also sought multiple details from the state agencies and set the next hearing for July 13.
The bench directed the Urban Development Department to conduct a high-level probe into pollution at Bellandur Lake. It also ordered the state to form a joint delegation and conduct regular audits on the lake’s status.
The state sought time until July to comply with the earlier NGT order on April 19, to clean up the lake in a month’s time. It submitted that a new STP of capacity 90 MLD would be ready by July.
KSPCB reminded of powers
The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board’s (KSPCB) affidavit stated that 76 of the 97 polluting industries had been shut. The tribunal questioned Additional Advocate General of Karnataka Aditya Sondhi whether the industries had actually been shut.
A KSPCB official said only closure notices had been sent. The tribunal then replied that under Sec 33A of the Water Act and Sec 5 of the Environment Protection Act, the KSPCB had the authority to inspect, shut down and seal the industries.
The tribunal then asked KSPCB, BDA and BWSSB to ask all industries to install effluent treatment plants, failing which, their electricity and water supply connections are to be disconnected and the industries sealed. It also asked the state to give apartments ‘reasonable time’ to install STPs, failing which, their electric and water supplies are be disconnected. The tribunal asked the state and the KSPCB to collect samples from working STPs and to get them tested at the Indian Institute of Science.
Homework for Karnataka
The state is to report to the tribunal about
Dimensions of each drain in all 17 inlets of the lake
Details of STPs as per Central Pollution Control Board parameters
Number of buildings and apartments in the lake’s vicinity
Industries to be shut or sealed
Record of waste extracted from the lake