BENGALURU: Forest, Environment and Ecology Minister Eshwar Khandre on Thursday told the environment department and wetland authority officials to write a letter to the Bangalore Development Authority, directing it to speed up work on construction of the sewage treatment plant (STP) at Bellandur Lake.
Khandre also asked officials to seek an explanation for the delay, despite orders from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the timeline set. He noted that the NGT has penalised the state government for poor water quality and improper STPs, yet the exercise is not completed. The minister held a meeting with officials from the environment and forest departments and wetland conservation authority to take stock of wetlands, lakes and water bodies in the state.
Khandre said the agencies will be penalised if STP works for all water bodies are not completed within the stipulated time. He noted that there are over 16,700 wetland sites and lakes in the state, spread across 2.25 hectares, and most of them need immediate attention. He said they should be restored and protected and steps should be taken to have them declared protected wetland sites. He also directed officials to prepare a list of the identified wetlands and publish them on the government website for public knowledge.
The rules should be informed to the public along with the consequences of polluting water bodies, and information should be disseminated in English and Kannada. He also directed officials to formulate an action plan and submit it within 10 days for the protection of wetlands.