Army Called in to Help Douse Fire in Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake
This is the fourth time that the Bellandur lake has caught fire since 2015.
The Bellandur lake, located in Yemlur side of Bengaluru, caught fire yet again on Friday, 19 January. This was the first time the lake caught fire in 2018 and the fourth time since 2015.
The officers of the Army Service Corps (ASC) were called in on Friday afternoon to control the fire on the shore at around 10 am in the morning.
According to the spokesperson of the defence ministry in Bengaluru, more than 500 officers, led by Major General NS Rajpurohith, have been deployed to contain the fire since afternoon.
The army has also deployed two fire engines and water tankers, in addition to the fire engines deployed by the Department of Fire and Emergency.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar visited the Bellandur lake later in the day to take stock of the situation.
Sources said that the army stepped in after Karnataka Lake Development and Conservation Authority made a request.
Bengaluru’s two largest lakes – Bellandur and Varthur – have been regularly affected by froth.
According to The News Minute, a study by the Karnataka Lake Development Authority, nodal authority of lakes and tanks, said that Bellandur Lake is the largest of the 262 lakes in Bengaluru and that it receives approximately 40 percent of the city's sewage.
Speaking to the news website, CEO of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority Seema Garg said:
There is no need to panic. The majority of the fire has been doused by fire department officials. Now the fire is under control. Officials of the KLCDA are there on the spot.
What Led to the Bellandur Fire?
The Bengaluru Development Authority is yet to zero in on the cause behind the fire. According to Bangalore Mirror, the commissioner of the BDA, Rakesh Singh, said that the officials were still probing the cause of the fire.
Meanwhile, Seema Garag, CEO of the Karnataka Lake Development and Conservation Authority (KLDCA) opined that the blaze could have been set off accidentally. Speaking to The Hindu, she said:
The portion which has caught fire is usually harvested for grass by grazers in the area. They harvest the grass and then set a portion on fire to ensure fresh growth. This may have got out of control.
Yet another theory of arson has also surfaced from the urban development department, with officials believing that miscreants could have set fire to dry grass on the lake.
Speaking to Times of India, a senior official from the department said:
Some miscreants might have gained access to the lake banks and set the dry grass or garbage piles there on fire. Floating grass on the water body was also on fire. The government is likely to take a decision to cordon off the entire lake till the STPs under construction are completed.
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