Panel seethes over meddling by ‘experts’ in Bellandur lake

Technical committee set up state govt says Bellandur lake has become a site for unmindful experiments after Mumbai-based expert releases microbe culture into water body.

Published: 23rd August 2017 03:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2017 07:59 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

Technical committee set up state govt says Bellandur lake has become a site for unmindful experiments after Mumbai-based expert releases microbe culture into water body; NGT pulls up civic agencies, state for poor coordination in lake clean-up; next Tribunal hearing scheduled for September 8

BENGALURU: The technical committee constituted by the state government to resolve the Bellandur Lake issue is fuming over civic agencies permitting private individuals to carry out various activities at the lake to prevent frothing. The committee believes that Bellandur lake has turned into a laboratory for anyone to carry out experiments, unmindful of the adverse effects.

Two days ago, Mumbai-based expert Raaginni Jaain was roped in to reduce the frothing by introducing a microbe culture. Experts in the committee sought to know who would be held responsible if there were any adverse reac t ions to such action. Prof T V Ramachandra of the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, sought to know if there are any known side-effects to such an exercise. “Adding an enzyme or bacteria could lead to a bio-war. What if that happens at the lake? Who will be held responsible for the damage caused?” he questioned Prof Ramachandra complained that none in the committee knew about Jaain’s arrival in the city.

“We are not aware of what microbes she has released there or what the reaction could be,” he added. Lashing out at BDA officials, Ramachandra blamed non-implementation of the short-term measures suggested by the committee as the cause for frothing again. “We sought that they de-weed the premises, stop dumping garbage, evict encroachers and stop industrial waste as short-term measures. None of these have been accomplished,” he said, adding, “Even the Bangladeshi Colony in the vicinity of the lake has not been evicted.”

The committee had proposed a deadline of six months for the work to be done. Even 14 months on, it remains incomplete. Environmentalist Dr Yellappa Reddy, a member of the committee, said, “Not everyone who wishes can come and do what they want there. The government has appointed a committee for this purpose. It is a sensitive eco-system and one must be careful.” Many are trying to take undue advantage of the situation and make money, he felt. The committee studied the lake for over three months. Following this, Bengaluru-based scientist and researcher Rajah Vijaykumar volunteered to find a solution to the frothing problem and made a proposal to the committee. According to Yellappa Reddy, the proposal was examined and found satisfactory. “Rajah Vijaykumar has given us a convincing reply. He is open to anyone studying it,” he said.

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