In a bid to protect Chandapura lake from further pollution, Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner K. Srinivas has informed The Indian Express that four urban local bodies — Jigani, Hebbagodi City Municipal Council (CMC), Chandapura Town Municipal Council (TMC) and Bommasandra TMC will get solid waste management plants, which will be operational by 2023.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) took suo moto cognizance of The Indian Express report ‘Lakes of Bengaluru: Industrial effluents, raw sewage; stinky tale of Chandapura lake’ published on November 21, 2021.
The tribunal following this constituted a seven-member joint committee of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), National Wetland Authority, State Wetland Authority and the District Magistrate, Bengaluru, to ascertain the facts with regard to the violation of buffer zone and solid waste management guidelines at Chandapura lake in Anekal taluk.
“The map of Chandapura lake catchment area and flow details of natural drains has been obtained from the Karnataka State Remote Sensing Application Centre (KSRSAC). The survey of Chandapura lake catchment area is under process by the Deputy Director of Land Records. The urban local bodies (ULB) in the catchment areas of Chandapura lake such as Hebbagodi CMC, Jigani TMC, Bommasandra TMC and Chandapura TMC have been directed to take immediate steps to stop the discharge of untreated effluents into the drains joining Chandapura lake through other intermediate lakes,” Srinivas said.
“Accordingly, we have contacted an expert from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, Professor Lakshminarayan, for guidance and to start inline water treatment in the drains carrying untreated water into Chandapura lake. The inland water treatment is expected to be completed by October end,” he added.
According to the action plan prepared by the district administration to restore Chandapura lake, a detailed project report (DPR) of the construction of underground drainage system at a cost of Rs 262 crore has been submitted to the state government in August for approval. 21 lakes in Jigani, Hebbagodi (CMC), Chandapura TMC and Bommasandra TMC will be restored through CSR funds of the private parties.
“Once the underground drainage system is constructed the untreated sewage will not enter the drains and lakes. The DPR has been prepared and submitted to the government. The DPRs of the other 21 lakes have also been submitted to the Karnataka Tank Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) for approval,” said a government official associated with the project on the condition of anonymity.
The NGT joint committee formed to ascertain the facts with regard to the violation of the buffer zone and solid waste management guidelines at Chandapura lake has stated that all the upstream lakes connecting to Chandapura lake are polluted.
The committee in its report has also stated that sewage generated in the municipal limits of Chandapura is being discharged into the lake directly or indirectly through drain except for private residential apartments since there is no common Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) to treat the sewage.
Social activist Captain (Retd.) Santhosh Kumar welcomed the steps taken by the NGT and said “it is due to the tribunal that the administration swung into action”.
“There are several lakes in Anekal which require equal attention. The NGT has acknowledged the entry of sewage into the lake and this puts the local bodies in the dock. We have been highlighting the issues of the pollution of these lakes for the past few years. Fortunately, the NGT listened and we are hoping for a positive outcome,” he added.