BENGALURU: The Delhi Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) took note of reports of froth in Bellandur lake and demanded concrete answers from the state.The state submitted a memo of steps taken by the government and sought more time to file a detailed reply. The state also submitted that the situation was unexpected because a cloudburst had caused the frothing. To this, the Tribunal said that no cloudburst would produce froth and smoke.
The NGT asked Karnataka for the number of rajakaluves they had cleared, the amount of waste collected from them and from the lake, and the preventive measures taken. The bench set a deadline of Tuesday for the state to reply. It also said a court commissioner will be appointed by the Tribunal to check the veracity of the answers.
The Tribunal also sought the views of NGO Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF). Senior Advocate Poovayya of NBF presented a list of dates of the history of the matter. Terming the state ‘disinterested’, Poovayya said that when the NGT had passed orders and the High Court had stayed the proceedings, it was the citizens who petitioned the Supreme Court. The state did not file an application to vacate the interim order. He added that despite numerous orders and no stay by the apex court, the state had done nothing, and now it wants more time to file a reply.
‘BBMP is responsible’
An official of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board said that the main reason for the lake’s frothing was not the discharge from industries but the flow of sewage in stormwater drains which are meant to carry only rainwater. The official said, “It is up to the BBMP to clean the SWDs as they are bringing in sewage.” BBMP Chief Engineer for SWDs Siddegowda said a survey of the drains was being done. “As soon as we get the survey results, we will take up works to clear encroachments from SWDs. The results should be out in 15 days.”