Bellandur Lake: NGT Asks Karnataka Govt to Fund Rs 500 Cr Cleanup

The NGT has ordered the Karnataka government to keep aside a fund of Rs 500 crore for the cleanup of Bellandur lake.

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Bellandur Lake: NGT Asks Karnataka Govt  to Fund Rs 500 Cr Cleanup

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday, 6 December, asked the Karnataka government to keep Rs 500 crore in its escrow account for the implementation of an action plan to clean up the Bellandur lake in Bengaluru, reported Deccan Herald.

In its final order, the NGT also directed the state government to pay Rs 50 crore to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to deposit a sum of Rs 25 crore with CPCB.

The NGT is currently hearing a case of fire, pollution and encroachment at the Bellandur lake.

Sets up Panel to Oversee Order Implementation

Unhappy with the restoration and rejuvenation efforts and the poor results of encroachment removal, the NGT also set up a panel headed by former Supreme Court Judge Justice Santosh Hegde to oversee the implementation of its latest order.

"Recommendations made by the Panjwani committee may be carried out to ensure that no pollutant waste is discharged into the lakes. Encroachments in the catchment areas to be removed", the NGT reportedly said.

Headed by Justice Hegde, IISc professor Ramachandran and another nominated member of the CPCB will also be members of the overseeing panel. Of the total amount of Rs 25 crore that the BBMP must deposit, Rs 10 crore will be transferred to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board for logistical support to the panel.


Duties of the Newly Setup Panel

  • The panel has to set up a website to receive complaints and suggestions regarding rejuvenation.
  • It must also oversee the timelines and action plans prepared by the state government. The Karnataka government has one month’s time to prepare the action plan, specifying the various actions to be undertaken.
  • Officers are to be appointed for implementation of the plan. They will be held accountable for any slip-ups.
  • The panel must also ensure that the state government furnishes a performance guarantee to execute the action plan.
  • Ensuring the implementation of the Panjwani committtee regarding zero pollutant waste is discharged into the lake.

In addition, the Karnataka government will also have to shell out another Rs 100 crore if they fail to implement the plan.

"CPCB to make guidelines and regulations denoting the penalties and amounts to be recovered from individuals and institutions for failure to comply, " the order said.

Any funds required to establish sewage treatment plants (STP) will have to be provided by the state government.

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