Bengaluru: It was a 'frothy' welcome for Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister G. Parameshwar when he went on an inspection drive of Bellandur Lake, along with a battery of officials, on Monday.
Mr Parameshwar had a first-hand experience of the problem at Bellandur lake, which has earned a bad reputation for Bengaluru at the international level. He also experienced a shower of froth during the inspection.
Taking stock of the condition of the lake which has caught fire five times in two years, he asked BDA officials what steps have been taken to contain the fire and frothing.
BBMP officials said that indiscriminate dumping of garbage was a major problem and now 24 lake marshals have been appointed to prevent it. Besides, CCTV cameras too have been installed around the lake to curb the menace, they said. Mayor Sampath Raj, who accompanied the minister, said that fires have been noticed in the land belonging to defence forces, but defence authorities prevent BBMP staff from dousing the fires.
Residents around the lake told the minister that the stench and frothing are unbearable. They, however, appreciated the work being done by lake marshals, and said illegal dumping at the lake has reduced after their appointment. "With marshals catching waste dumpers almost every day, it is a step in the right direction. The marshals have definitely brought in a change, but there is only so much that a few Marshals can do. The sheer vastness of the lake makes it difficult for them too," said Srinivas, a resident.
Promising to solve the problem of frothing and stench in three months, Mr Parameshwar directed officials to ensure that the sewage treatment plant is fully functional. He told the officials to slap notices and impose penalties on individuals and companies responsible for dumping and frothing of the lake.
The government has allocated Rs 30 crore for the development of 167 lakes in the last two years, he said.
Drive against encroachments
"A drive against encroachment of lakes will be taken up shortly. The government extends its full support to clear encroachments and to arrest flooding in the city," he said. Earlier, he inspected the Kaggadasapura Lake and directed officials to set up sewage treatment plants. He also directed the BBMP to part with one acre of land to the BWSSB to set up the STP.