NGT fines K’taka over froth­ing B’luru lakes

Mail Today - - NEWS - By Mail To­day Bureau in New Delhi

AF­TER fin­ing the Delhi Govt. for fail­ing to pre­vent air pol­lu­tion, the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal (NGT) on Thurs­day came down heav­ily on Karnataka Govt. for the poor con­di­tion of its storm wa­ter drains and lakes like Varthur and Bel­lan­dur.

The green tri­bunal asked the BJP Govt. in Karnataka to set up an es­crow ac­count worth `500 cr. to clean up its dirty froth­ing lakes and also deposit `100 cr. as per­for­mance guar­an­tee.

The court also slapped a fine of `50 cr. on the state govt. and an ad­di­tional `25 cr. fine on Bengaluru’s civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Ma­hana­gara Pa­like (BBMP), on ac­count of the pol­lu­tion at Bel­lan­dur lake. The bench has fur­ther warned a fine of Rs 100 cr. if the gov­ern­ment fails to take cor­rec­tive ac­tion.

It also asked for a web­site to be set up to re­ceive com­plaints and sug­ges­tions. From now on com­pli­ance on mat­ters of the lake re­ju­ve­na­tion will be over­seen by a com­mit­tee headed by Jus­tice San­tosh Hegde, for­mer judge of Supreme Court; TV Ra­machan­dran, renowned sci­en­tist and IISc pro­fes­sor, and a nom­i­nee of the Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Control Board (CPCB).

NGT ob­served that there is neg­li­gence by Karnataka gov­ern­ment in pro­tect­ing its lakes and in keep­ing ra­jakaluves (storm wa­ter drains) free from en­croach­ment.

The tri­bunal asked the gov­ern­ment to shut pol­lut­ing in­dus­trial units, say­ing that pol­lut­ing wa­ter is a crim­i­nal of­fence. The court also ob­served that vi­o­la­tors should be pe­nalised as per the ‘pol­luter pays’ prin­ci­ple and that of­fi­cers-in-charge are ac­count­able for their fail­ures.

Lakes like Bel­lan­dur and Varthur in the south­ern State have been froth­ing over due to raw ef­flu­ent dis­charge from fac­to­ries and do­mes­tic sewage dump­ing in­clud­ing de­ter­gent wa­ter.

Tri­bunal asks govt to give `500cr to fix the pro­belm

Heav­ily pol­luted lakes in Bengaluru have shocked peo­ple across the coun­try.

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