BENGALURU: The lockdown has come as a blessing in disguise for the city’s waterbodies. And there are discernible signs that two of the city’s notoriously polluted lakes — Varthur and Bellandur – are getting healed naturally. With major pollutants like industries shut down and minimum human interference, the lockdown is having a profound impact on the city’s environment.
These pleasant changes have caught the attention of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) as well as the expert committee on Bellandur and Varthur lakes. The lakes had grabbed the headlines nationally and globally for high levels of pollution resulting in extreme frothing. The stakeholders worry that all these will go to naught as soon as the lockdown is lifted. Keeping this in mind, the expert committee members are planning to request the government to restart the stalled works on rejuvenating the lakes soon after the lockdown is lifted, giving no scope for pollutants to enter the water bodies.
According to a committee member, desilting works of the lakes was suspended on March 24 when the lockdown was enforced. “At least some desilting works need to be done so that monsoon rains have little or no impact on the polluted water bodies,” the member told TNIE. The member also pointed out that minimum or no pollution in the Vrushabhavathi river and Koramangala—Challaghatta (KC) valley has helped in reducing pollution in the two water bodies.
“The lockdown shows that industries are the primary source of pollution, followed by untreated sewage. Since there is no human intervention, nature is doing its job. But the government will have to ensure strong enforcement soon after the lockdown is lifted. Work will have to start soon after May 3 and it will have to be ensured that no sewage water or pollutants enter the lake,” cautioned the member.