The central government will invest Rs.800 crore to rejuvenate lakes in Bengaluru, especially the Bellandur lake, the largest and most polluted water body in the Karnataka capital, union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
“Since many years, several Bengaluru lakes were getting polluted because of the untreated sewage flowing into them. The issue is serious and last year their was an incident of fire in the Bellandur lake. The central government has extended Rs.800 crore for cleaning up those lakes,” the minister said here.
The funds would be released under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme, that would include Rs.500 crore to construct a trunk sewage pipeline, to route the sewage of the city to the treatment plants and Rs.162 crore dedicated to Bellandur lake to construct four sewage treatment plants.
“About 1,280 million litres of sewage is generated in Bengaluru, while the city’s infrastructure has capacity to handle only 721 mltr of sewage. However, since 137 out of 500 mltr of STPs are defunct, only 600 mltr sewage is treated,” the minister said.
About 40 percent of the city’s sewage flows in the Bellandur lake, which spreads over 891.9 acre of area.
Studies show there are around 262 lakes and tanks in the urban and rural areas of Bengaluru, as of 2009. In May 2015, froth over Bellandur lake caught fire due to formation of flammable methane gas.
Javadekar said the orders had been issued under Section 5 and 18 of Environment Protection Act on the polluted lakes of Bengaluru. These Acts have power to direct the closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry in the area of around the subject.
“We had a meeting with the officials of Bengaluru and soon another meeting will be held in the first week of May. I will also speak to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in this regard,” the union minister said.
He added that while the Centre would extend help, it is the responsibility of the local government to see the proper implementation of funds.