NGT pressure sees work progress in Bellandur

A file photo of the Bellandur Lake.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

Tangible work to revive Bellandur lake finally began on Monday, days after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) set a one-month deadline to clean up the 700-acre lake.

Though the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) started weeding the lake — boats with machines are pulling out tonnes of weeds that have overrun the lake — even by conservative estimates, this will take at least four months. “The weeding of the lake area will be done in phases. After clearing each patch of the lake, we will put up aerators,” said P.N. Naik, engineering member, BDA. Aerators will be installed to increase dissolved oxygen levels in the water to provide an ecosystem that can sustain aquatic life.

Meanwhile, an expert team from the Engineering Staff College of India, Hyderabad, visited the lake on the invitation of the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) to identify areas that can be converted into wetlands.

A Y-junction where inlets from Koramanagala and Agaram meet has been identified for setting up a 40-acre biomechanical wetland. “This inlet contributes nearly 220 MLD (million litres a day) of sewage into the lake. Tackling this will significantly improve water quality,” said G. Vidyasagar, CEO, KLCDA.

Another wetland of around 12 acres is being planned at an inlet close to HAL airport. The total cost will be ₹2.2 crore, he said.

Even though officials said it would be impossible to meet the NGT’s deadline, they hope that with tangible work happening and a clear roadmap, they could convince the NGT of their commitment.

Following complaints and reports of major dumping of mud, construction debris and garbage on the wetlands around the nearby Varthur lake, officials have sprung into action and intensified patrolling. “The dumps seem to have been added in the past fortnight. We have taken truck numbers from residents. Owners of these trucks will be traced and cases booked against them,” said Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management), Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

Meanwhile, the BBMP put up three CCTV cameras on Monday, while their Prahari vigilance vehicles were deputed in the area to catch these trucks.

As The Hindu reported on Monday, mud was being dumped seemingly on an industrial scale on over 6 acres in the inlet wetlands of Varthur lake, resulting the blockage of a primary drain as well as violation of the buffer zone norms around the 400-acre lake.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 2:03:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ngt-pressure-sees-work-progress-in-bellandur/article18201366.ece

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