NGT directs complete shutdown of industries in vicinity of Bellandur Lake
On April 19, 2017, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered a complete shutdown of all industrial units in close proximity to Bengaluru's Bellandur Lake immediately. This is in alignment with the intention of putting a ban on the dumping of any type of solid municipal waste into the lake. A fine of Rs 5 lakh would be imposed on anyone who is seen dumping waste in the vicinity of the lake.
According to India Today, the bench, which comprised NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter and Justice R.S. Rathore, said,
All the industries located in the vicinity of Bellandur Lake and discharging effluent, either treated or untreated, are hereby directed to be closed. 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. If anyone is found violating this, he or she shall be liable to pay a Rs 5 lakh fine.
The NGT has directed the state government of Karnataka, the State Pollution Control Board, the Lake Development Authority, and the Bengaluru Development Authority to begin the cleaning up of the lake and report on the progress in a month. The lake, which is the largest of the 262 lakes in Bengaluru, sees the dumping of 40 percent of the city's sewage. Concerns on the same were raised previously as well when the lake had caught fire. Till date, the lake has caught fire thrice, primarily because of the flammable methane gas formed with froth accumulation.
On Tuesday, the NGT questioned the law department of Karnataka as well as other officials about the failure to implement directions given to them regarding the cleaning up of Bellandur Lake following a fire accident that took place last year.
According to Times Now, the NGT asked,
Why did the government departments block the implementation of NGT orders? How is the government planning to treat sewage and what kind of treatment is done right now?
The bench has now asked the concerned departments to start the cleaning up of the lake immediately and make sure that industrial waste is not being dumped into the lake.