BENGALURU: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) expert committee has expressed its apprehension over the deadline set by the state government to desilt Bengaluru’s Bellandur and Varthur lakes, which have hit the headlines for froth flow. The state government had assured the NGT committee that the lakes would be desilted by December 2020, but the latter is not sure of this. The committee, appointed by the tribunal to ensure the two water bodies are revived, says it will be a difficult exercise.
A committee member told TNIE, “Due to the pandemic, shortage of labourers, and the ongoing monsoon, it will be difficult to finish the desilting by December 2020, as the state government officials commit. The silt is being scraped and dumped on the side of the lakes, which is not what they are supposed to do. Scientific disposal of the silt and its management is also a part of the exercise. All the silt mounted on the banks is soiled and mucky. It cannot be transported.”
The member added that engineers from Bangalore Development Authority said they had cleared silt from the 200-acre Bellandur Lake, but with rainwater stagnating on the water body, the exercise will only get worse. “We will inspect the lakes now and submit a report to the NGT on the next course of action.
Test reports of the silt samples are also awaited, based on which the type of treatment to be given and where it is to be sent, will be decided. Though abandoned quarries have been identified for dumping the silt to level the lands, the agency to transport the silt has not yet been finalised,” the committee member added.
They, however, expressed pleasure over the creation of sewage treatment plants. “Though it is slow, it is progressing. There are positive signs on the setting up of STPs in Agaram, Sarakki, Hulimavu and Chikkabegur. But completion of the 150 MLD STP near the lake sites is still delayed,” they added.