Construction and demolition waste still lying on lakebed, says activist.
Bengaluru: Not only is the Varthur Lake waste weir work unfinished, the Minor Irrigation Department has also violated the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to remove the construction and demolition debris from the lakebed.
Mr Jagadish Reddy, a lake warden and an activist, said that the NGT’s order of December 6 last year stated that over 1.5-km of road laid on the lakebed within the boundary of the Varthur Lake by dumping construction and demolition debris should be removed forthwith. The entire project, including laying of pipeline, was to be completed within 24 months from June 2016.
“The project got completed in July 2018 and the debris should have been removed by August 2018. We are in February 2019 and the debris still lies on the bed. Only 350 metres of debris have been removed from the periphery of the lake, while 1.73 kilometre still remains,” he said.
Last month, ahead of the NGT meeting, the contractor and the Minor Irrigation Department agreed to remove the debris, but now the height of the bund road has been increased, while soil, garbage and debris remain on the lakebed, he said.
Sources said that lower rank officials of the Minor Irrigation Department prepared the report on clearing the debris and it was produced before the NGT.
After the Bellandur Lake caught fire in January 2018, lake marshals were to be deputed at Bellandur and Varthur lakes by March 2018. Though marshals have been stationed at Bellandur, Varthur Lake still waits.
Last month, Varthur Lake too caught fire and over 20 acres of flora and fauna was reduced to ash.
“The fencing of the lake is yet to be completed. Almost 2 km of the lake periphery is open to encroachment. The watershed area and wetlands falling under 75 metre of buffer zone is being destroyed by dumping garbage and debris,” Mr Reddy said.