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Bengaluru’s ‘burning’ lake: NGT orders industries to be shut, imposes Rs 5 lakh fine

The National Green Tribunal gave the state authorities one month’s time to free the lake of all pollutants.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2017 10:18 IST
Bengaluru,Bellandur Lake,National Green Tribunal
The largest lake in Bengaluru, Bellandur, caught fire yet again on Thursday (February 16). After falling prey to toxic froth, the lake became a victim of toxic smoke, courtesy the chemicals and debris dumped near the lake.(HT Photo)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday ordered all industries around Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru to be shut and imposed Rs 5 lakh fine on anyone found dumping waste in and around the lake.

The green panel gave the state authorities one month’s time to free the lake of all pollutants.

A bench headed by NGT chief justice Swatantar Kumar said the industries violating directions should be sealed by the State Pollution Control Board.

The highly polluted Bellandur Lake on February 17 caught fire due to toxic effluents in it. According to reports, the fire could be seen for three hours.

“All the industries located in the vicinity of Bellandur Lake and discharging effluent, either treated or untreated, are hereby directed to be closed,” the bench said.

“No industry is permitted to operate unless inspection by a joint inspection team is conducted and analysis of effluent is found to be within the permissible limit,” it said.

The bench added that no waste of any kind, either municipal solid waste or domestic waste, is to be dumped at the buffer zone of the lake.

“If anyone is found violating this, he or she shall be liable to pay Rs 5 lakh fine.”

The tribunal asked the Karnataka state government, the State Pollution Control Board, Lake Development Authority and Bengaluru Development Authority to start cleaning the lake immediately and report back in one month.

Bellandur Lake, the largest of the 262 lakes and tanks in Bengaluru, receives about 40% of the city’s sewage. Previously, in May 2015 and August 2016, froth over the Bellandur Lake had caught fire due to formation of flammable methane gas.

First Published: Apr 19, 2017 15:51 IST