Bengaluru: The Supreme Court order, staying the decision of the Karnataka High Court which had stayed the NGT order on Bellandur Lake, has given more powers to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to take stern action against polluters.
KSPCB chairman Lakshman told DH that the board was issuing closure orders to industries and persuading apartments to instal sewage treatment plants under Section 33 of the Water Act. “We have not issued any permanent closure orders to any industries. The orders were revoked when industries complied with pollution control rules and installed STPs. The same will continue. Now, with the NGT orders, we will be able to penalise offenders,” he said.
The KSPCB has been inspecting all polluting commercial and residential units around water bodies and instructing them to instal STPs.
Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) officials say that they were working on cleaning the 910-acre water body based on the recommendations of the expert committee. The NGT orders were only a booster. “According to the monitoring committee comprising experts, work is going on as per schedule. So far, 30% of the weeds have been cleared. The committee had estimated that there are around 15,000 tonnes of hyacinth, but after clearing just 30% of the lake, nearly 18,000 to 20,000 tonnes have been cleared. They have suggested leaving some hyacinth and weeds as they are important for aquatic life,” a senior BDA official said.
“The legal aspects do not matter to the BDA as we have been directed by the Lokayukta, Karnataka High Court, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, expert committee and NGT to rejuvenate the water body. The same has been demanded by citizens and experts. We have started work and it will continue,” the BDA official said. He added that the lake will be completely cleaned only when sewage stops entering Bellandur Lake. “The NGT has passed the same directions. Now, with their watch ticking, work will only be speeded up,” he said.