Bengaluru: The battle for Byramangala Lake reached the decisive point on Monday after a two years struggle by lake and green activists. The Lokayukta court ordered the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to submit an action plan within 10 days. Warning the Board against maladministration, the Lokayukta said, “Neevu nimma kelasa maadillandre, naavu namma kelasa madbekaagthade. (If you don’t do your job, we will have to do ours.)”
The Lokayukta court also ordered that a committee be formed with the KSPCB chairman, BWSSB and BBMP representatives, Bidadi Town Municipal Corporation members, Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Ltd. officials, DCs of Bengaluru Urban and Ramnagara, along with members of the Bangalore Environment Trust (BET) to work on issues facing the lake and to clean up the Vrushabhavathi Valley. After the pollution board submits an action plan, BET can review it and give suggestions within five days, it said.
The BET had filed a complaint with the Lokayukta on the large-scale pollution of Vrushabhavathi Valley and Byramangala Lake. “We have been working with the Lokayukta for the past two years to get his attention to the egregious pollution of Byramangala Lake. We wanted the Lokayukta to identify and punish polluters from the catchment areas (which constitutes one-third of Bengaluru),” said Mr Nirmala Gowda, Trustee, BET.
The Lokayukta was presented with the evidence of dumping waste by the Bidadi Town Municipal Corporation and Kumbalagodu Gram Panchayat and free flow of effluents from licensed and unlicensed units from Peenya and Kumbalagodu Industrial areas. Ms Gowda said that even Pai& Pai, which was expected to treat waste from industries, too has been polluting the Valley.
“The polluted lake has affected the lives of over 5.5 lakh people, who are forced to drink this water for many years. That is the reason the Lokayukta verdict is overwhelming. We have been working continuously to project the plight of the valley and the Lake. The Lokayukta understood the seriousness of the issue and pronounced a strong verdict. The Lokayukta has empowered the public by giving them an opportunity to give suggestions and comments on the action taken report,” said BET Chairman Yallappa Reddy....