BENGALURU: Presenting his maiden budget on Thursday, Chief Minister H.D. Kumarswamy allocated Rs 10 crore for the manufacture of eco-friendly soaps and detergents, keeping in mind the havoc caused by phosphates and detergents at Bellandur Lake. Researchers from the city-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) said that a proper study should be conducted to determine how much of these chemicals are entering the water bodies.
In the US, Canada and other developed countries, each state has a different cut-off limit for such chemicals, based on the temperature and weather. Dr Priyanka Jamwal, a researcher at ATREE, said, “There should be a limit on the entry of nitrogen into a lake. But for that, you need a detailed study. At Jakkur Lake, the STP removes only nitrogen and not phosphates.”
Last month, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had suggested setting up of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) that can treat phosphates and nitrogen. But experts pointed out that none of STPs commissioned in the city can remove both phosphates and nitrogen from brown water. Water expert Kshitij Urs welcomed the government’s decision to sanction funds for the manufacture of eco-friendly soaps, but added that the STP technology should also change.
“It is high time we got rid of chemical soaps. We have enough raw materials to reduce dependence on them, and this is irrespective of the situation at Bellandur Lake. The government should also sanction some funds for an independent research on the amount of phosphates and nitrogen entering the lakes.” He said that STPs should be made natural as it requires lesser capital, but a little more of the land. “STPs in India are a proof of how a system can go wrong. It is extremely expensive. Now, even large builders are opting for natural STPs.”