Sewage and rainwater to be diverted from Bellandur, Varthur lakes
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A committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed officials to build temporary channels to redirect rainwater and sewage that enter Bellandur and Varthur lakes through stormwater drains (SWDs). The committee for rejuvenation of Bellandur lake is headed by former Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde.
After a review meeting, Hegde said that the water had to be drained out before desilting the lake, which was the first step in lake rejuvenation. Civic agencies have been asked to take steps to prevent any resultant health-related issues downstream, such as mosquito menace.
Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had already lowered the water levels in Bellandur lake, to rebuild a waste weir here. Residents in the neighbourhood said that the entry of raw sewage has led to an increase in water hyacinth across the lake.
NGT directs KSPCB to prosecute lake encroachers
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to prosecute violators who have constructed illegal buildings in the buffer zone of Kaikondarahalli lake. The Principal Bench of the NGT, headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, specified in its order that the KSPCB can recover the damage to the lake.
The NGT was responding to a petition that had alleged that the buffer zone of the Kaikondranahalli lake had been encroached. The Tribunal also directed the KSPCB to submit a compliance report in two months.
BMRC drafts policy to ease commute
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) has released a draft ‘Bengaluru Transit Oriented Development’ policy that visualises an integrated commuting network in the city. The network would be such that commuters in a bus or train can get down at their stops and walk to their destinations. Or they would be able to get on to a feeder service or transit network without a long wait.
The draft policy aims to make the city more liveable and resilient. But to achieve this, the city’s draft Revised Master Plan 2031 should be reoriented to the principles of transit-oriented development (TOD), states the policy. TOD implies developing concentrated nodes of mixed land use of moderate to high density, that would be within walking distance of mass transit stations. Further, the mass transit stations would be well-integrated with pedestrian, bicycle and feeder networks. With this, more people are expected to use public transport instead of private vehicles.
Action plan to improve air quality
Bengaluru gets a new 44-point action plan to improve its air quality. The action plan follows a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order for four ‘non-attainment cities’ including Bengaluru, whose air quality is worse than prescribed standards.
In early April, the Air Quality Monitoring Committee had approved the 44-point action plan, involving nine government departments. The action plans are divided into 15 short-term plans, 11 mid-term and 17 long-term plans, while one action plan is ongoing. The plans are being scrutinised by the NGT-appointed committee.
A decade back, a 14-point air quality action plan had been drafted based on the orders of the Karnataka High Court. B Nagappa, senior environmental officer at KSPCB, claims that all these have been implemented, except one suggestion that fuelling should not be done in petrol stations without a Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate.