There was a prosperous kingdom, which was crime-ridden with murders, kidnapping and burglary. There was complete lawlessness. The king ordered his ministers to find a solution. The ministers spotted five petty thieves who were around 25-years-old and found a solution. They made a rule – “All 25-year olds will pay a penalty of 1,000 coins and will undergo a reformation programme.”
This is also the reality of Bengaluru’s lake pollution. The city’s lakes are polluted because the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB)’s Sewage Treatment Plants(STPs) are not working, industries are letting pollutants into lakes, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has been giving approvals without checking compliance and so on. There is complete lawlessness on lake pollution. Also, a few apartments, constituting less than one per cent of the tens of thousands of law abiding ones in Bengaluru, are letting out untreated sewage into lakes.
The thousands of old apartments constructed since 1960, which have been served notices to install STPs, are not causing lake pollution as they are connected to the underground sewage network (UGD) of BWSSB. Despite acknowledging that they are not causing pollution, KSPCB is still serving them with notices to install STPs as it wants to be seen as taking action.
Indeed, some apartments are letting out untreated sewage into lakes.These builders neither constructed an STP nor connected drains to the UGD, thus violating norms in connivance with civic and enforcement agencies. These apartments need to take measures such as installation of STPs. But how does forcing thousands of non-polluting apartments to install STPs help?
BWSSB needs to provide UGD connections to all parts of Bengaluru,make its STPs functional and KSPCB should ensure compliance on the part of builders and industries.
Asking all old apartments to install STPs means finding non-existent space, spending huge money, putting buildings to risk and installing thousands of STPs, which is an environmental hazard and will not address lake pollution at all. This is the solution found by the people who govern us! GOD SAVE BENGALURU!
–Srikanth Narsimhan,General Secretary , Bangalore Apartments’ Federation (BAF)