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The principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi ordered on Wednesday that all industries in the vicinity of Bellandur Lake be shut down immediately , and set a one-month deadline to the authorities to clean up the polluted waterbody .“No industry will be permitted to operate unless allowed by a joint inspection team, which may seal the industries with help of police and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board,“ the tribunal said, while passing a set of interim directives to arrest the decay in the lake.

Bengaluru’s largest lake is so polluted that foam and fire breakouts are common, making global headlines.

Directing all local authorities to ensure that no untreated sewage enters the lake, the tribunal said: “No waste -municipal solid, domestic and CMD -shall be dumped into the lake or in the buffer zone (prescribed by NGT) around the lake. If anybody is found polluting or dumping, an environmental compensation charge of Rs 5 lakh per event to be imposed.“

The NGT has made the chief executive officer of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority , the commissioner of Bangalore Development Authority and the Urban Development Department personally responsible for implementation of its directives. It may be noted that the tribunal has been hearing the matter since February 20, when it took suo motu note of the large fire in the lake earlier in the month.

The tribunal set a onemonth deadline for constituting a committee of senior officials of the BDA, KLCDA and UDD (not below the rank of additional secretary) to en sure one-time cleaning of entire Bellandur Lake by desilting, removing waste and surface cleaning, including removal of chemicals. The committee has been told to in duct any special agency needed to execute this task. The NGT further said that the Karnataka government would be entitled to invoke the `polluter pays’ princi ple and direct developers to bear costs for transfer of sewage. It asked the state of Karnataka to place before it, within two weeks, an action plan to completely prevent and control pollution in the lake.

The tribunal said it would give further directives after submission of the action plan and adjourned the matter to May 18.

Courtesy by Times Of India.

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