BENGALURU: Experts and activists have raised questions over untreated sewage flowing directly downstream into Bellandur and Varthur Lakes. The questions have come at a time where the diversion channels constructed to drain out water from the two large water bodies are witnessing the flow of sewage water downstream to Dakshin Pinakini river and treated water being diverted to specially created channels to Kolar and Chikkaballapur.
Members of Bangalore Environment Trust have written to the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretaries, Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner, Deputy Director General of Forests MoEFCC, Justice N Santosh Hegde, head of NGT-appointed expert committee and other government officials; and civic groups have also issued a release to draw government attention.
BET Chairman AN Yellappa Reddy said: “The rejuvenation approach of diverting around 500 million litres of toxic waste water which was entering Bellandur Lake, to Varthur Lake and subsequently to Dakshina Pinakini river, is that polluted matter is being pushed downstream, thus translocating pollution. Rejuvenation of one water body should not spell a death knell to other water bodies. This activity is in contravention to Section 24 of Water Act.”
In the feedback, the BET has also pointed that there is 19.4 million tonnes of silt and slush in Bellandur and 7.8 million tonnes in Varthur lake bed which are biologically and chemically hazardous. “This quantum is equivalent to the garbage which Bengaluru would generate in 10.5 years. Also this quantity of toxic waste in Bellandur lake bed is 4.8 times more than what is in Mavallipura landfill and 1.8 times more in Varthur lake. Thus to desilt, such huge quantities will take a long time. Even if we can remove 1,000 tonnes per day, it will still take 53 years to completely desilt Bellandur lake bed and 20 years to desilt Varthur lake bed,” he said.
Members of other groups have also pointed that untreated sewage was entering the KC Valley from polluting industries which was now flowing directly downstream. “The BWSSB and KSPCB should tap sewage at the entry points itself as the NGT committee has its own limitations also. Sewage treatment plants should be set up at the earliest and polluting red and orange category industries should be closed down immediately. The underground drains should be connected to the STP also,” the members said.