BENGALURU: Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd has been levied a penalty of Rs 5 lakh for dumping construction debris in Myalasandra Lake-1. Situated amidst the pristine forests of Uttarahalli-Kengeri Road, the 16.2-acre lake is maintained by the state forest department.
As reported in Express ‘Metro dumps concrete waste in Mylasandra Lake’ on May 9, the dumping of concrete debris by BMRCL contractors started in April. A public complaint was lodged with the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) which has jurisdiction over all lakes of the state. Taking swift action, the state forest department, which probed the dumping issue, sent a notice to BMRCL on May 12 as directed by KLCDA.
Deputy Conservator of Forests (Bengaluru Urban) Deepika Bajpayi told Express, “We issued a notice to BMRCL on Friday and levied a fine of `5 lakh as per the National Green Tribunal order. I did a joint inspection of the lake site with BMRCL engineer on Friday. They have to pay the penalty as well as clear the concrete debris. As per NGT, a fine of Rs 5 lakh is levied for each dumping. Metro authorities have to take action within a week.”
Taking such a harsh step as per the NGT orders was necessary because dumping of construction and other debris, including garbage, has become easy for contractors in lakes as well as on forest lands, the DCF added. “In fact, in my division, forest areas in Bengaluru Urban have become the biggest victims of regular dumping of garbage and other waste. They resort to such easy methods to cut the transportation cost of taking waste to the designated sites.”
When Express contacted BMRCL Chief Engineer Vijay Maurya, he said, “Such notices will go to the headquarters. If we have received such a notice, we will recover the amount from the contractor and add extra penalty for the violation.”
The NGT order
According to the National Green Tribunal orders on April 18 and April 19, dumping of any wet or solid waste in the premises of all lakes situated in and around Bengaluru, including the buffer zone areas of the lake is strictly prohibited. If anybody is found dumping such wastes, they will be levied a fine of Rs 5 lakh for each occasion. The KLCDA will also initiate prosecution against such people in accordance with the provisions contained in the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority Act, 2014, and the rules framed under it.