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NGT pulls up BWSSB and KSPCB over pollution in KR Puram lake

The NGT observed, “The Karnataka SPCB has also given nine recommendations for ensuring the survival of the KR Puram Lake. Whether they have been complied with or not (or) if any action taken in that regard is also not known.”

A Bengaluru resident, J Jagan Kumar, had last year filed a petition before the NGT, Southern Zone, Chennai with regard to the dumping of waste and discharge of untreated sewage into KR Puram Lake (Express Photo)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Southern Zone Wednesday directed the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to submit reports on measures taken to prevent the entry of sewage into the KR Puram lake.

The tribunal stated that if the reports were not submitted before the next date of hearing (December 16), then it would summon KSPCB and BWSSB officials.

“The reports should mention the compliance of the recommendations made in the earlier report by the Karnataka SPCB and the action taken by the BWSSB pursuant to the directions issued by the Karnataka SPCB and any other action plan to restore the KR Puram Lake. If the complete reports are not filed before the next hearing date… officials will be summoned to this Tribunal,” the order copy read.

The NGT observed, “The Karnataka SPCB has also given nine recommendations for ensuring the survival of the KR Puram Lake. Whether they have been complied with or not (or) if any action taken in that regard is also not known.”

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The BWSSB in its report filed before the tribunal on February 7 this year said that it would identify the houses which are discharging the sewage directly into stormwater drains (SWDs) connected to the lake.

“The State Pollution Control Board seems to have issued notices to the departments concerned regarding the control of sewage entry into the lake and solid waste being dumped in the buffer zone of the lake. The KSPCB also has stated that it is monitoring the water quality of the lake on a monthly basis and filed its analysis report,” the NGT said.

In March this year, the KSPCB gave nine recommendations to the BWSSB, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to ensure that the lake remained free of sewage.

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Last year, in October, the BWSSB was asked by the KSPCB to encourage the use of treated water from sewage treatment plants (STPs) for public parks, construction activities, and vehicle service stations including BMTC depots and railways. The BWSSB, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) were also advised to establish decentralised STPs in each lake’s catchment area so that treated water gets into the lake. The BBMP was also asked by the KSPCB to identify abandoned quarries and set up a processing facility for the disposal of construction and demolition waste so that the lake does not become a dumping ground for such waste.

A Bengaluru resident, J Jagan Kumar, had last year filed a petition before the NGT, Southern Zone, Chennai with regard to the dumping of waste and discharge of untreated sewage into KR Puram Lake.

According to the petitioner, large-scale garbage and debris were dumped in the lake and in its buffer zone. “Untreated sewage/toilet sewage water is also discharged into the lake from the nearby residential apartments… contaminating the water quality in the lake…” Kumar stated in his petition.

First published on: 30-11-2022 at 20:10 IST
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