The Central government has initiated projects worth Rs 906.65 crores to recharge and rejuvenate the Bengaluru lakes under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) programme of the Ministry of Urban Development.
While the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has sanctioned projects for the conservation of five lakes in Bengaluru, namely Vengaiahkere, Nagvara, Jarganahalli, Lal Bagh and Bellandur worth Rs.18.68 crores, the Ministry of Urban Development approved projects worth Rs 887.97 crore for improving the sewerage system.
Recently in the Loksabha, Bangalore Central MP PC Mohan has asked the questions on the details of programmes being implemented for the lake rejuvenation works, funds towards the rejuvenation of any lakes in Bengaluru and whether the government has issued any directives to the state government to cater to issues pertaining to buffer zones, restoration of lakes, encroachment clearance etc.
Answering these questions put forth by PC Mohan, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change replied, “Based on the proposals received from the State Government of Karnataka, this Ministry has sanctioned projects for conservation of five lakes in Bengaluru, namely Vengaiahkere, Nagvara, Jarganahalli, Lal Bagh and Bellandur at a total cost of Rs.18.68 crores. Central share of 10.62 crore has already been released to Government of Karnataka for conservation and management of these lakes. Work on all these five lakes has been completed.”
“As per Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), projects totalling to Rs 887.97 crore relating to the sewerage system and STPs in Bengaluru have been approved or initiated under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) programme of Ministry of Urban Development,” it said. The ministry said these projects will help rejuvenate lakes in Bengaluru by reducing the pollution load being discharged into them.
On whether any directives have been issued to the state government to cater to issues pertaining to buffer zones, restoration of lakes, encroachment clearance, the ministry said, “The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued directions under Section 18(1) (b) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 in April, 2015 to all SPCBs/ PCCs, including Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), to make it mandatory for the urban local bodies (including Bengaluru) to set-up sewerage system and STPs of adequate capacity for abatement of pollution of rivers and lakes.”
In May 2015, specific directions were issued to KSPCB for controlling the pollution in Bellandur and Varthur lakes of Bengaluru, which is infamous for its pollution and frothing, it added.