Lake encroachment? Appoint expert panel

NGT shocked by Minor Irrigation Dept’s reply that it set up a committee to rid Varthur Lake of pipelines and roads

Published: 26th June 2019 06:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2019 06:18 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: How do you clear encroachments in a lake? Just appoint an expert committee! This is what the Minor Irrigation Department has done. And the committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday was shocked to learn of this solution. The department has set up an expert committee to work out an alternative solution for the roads and pipes laid in Varthur Lake.

The committee members  said that there was nothing to ascertain. However, since an expert committee has been constituted, the report should be tabled before the NGT committee in the first week of July, at the
next meeting.

The committee also questioned as to who was responsible for this. But the reply it got: The expert committee is studying if the pipelines supplying water downstream should go underground or be diverted.
The committee members also took strict note of the sewage and said that during dewatering and weeding and after the lake is revived, the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) should ensure that no sewage enters the lake. Caution must be exercised as the catchment area of the lake is huge., they said.

“The purpose of the whole exercise will be lost if even a small amount of sewage enters the lake. Proper planning, keeping in mind future growth, should be done. If sewage enters the lake, then the state government should take legal action against BWSSB and the polluters,” a committee member said.
The committee also directed that officials and heads of all departments must be present at the next meeting along with the detailed time line of the action plan. The committee warned that time line and directions issued should be followed in detail.

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