The highly polluted Bellandur lake in Bengaluru was on fire yet again on Friday morning, the first time in 2018. Residents from the Yemlur side of Bellandur spotted large clouds of smoke from the lake.
Although the fire was doused, the lake caught fire again in the evening. Officials from the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority are supervising the efforts of the firefighters, ANI reported.
This is the fourth time since 2015 that the lake was on fire. The city’s two largest lakes – Bellandur and Varthur – are regularly affected by froth. Environmentalists blame the practice of dumping untreated sewage and pollutants in the lakes.
Residents from the area have repeatedly asked the government to take action to stop the lake from foaming. Many have also criticised the civic bodies for failing to address the problem.
“We had warned the Bangalore Development Authority to take measures to contain pollution levels in the water body to ensure something like does not happen again, but clearly nothing was done,” Seema Sharma, a resident of the area, told The Times of India. “Fire tenders were present at the spot, but they said they could not enter the lake.”
In April 2017, the National Green Tribunal had ordered the Karnataka government to shut down all industrial units around the Bellandur lake. It had also announced a fine of R 5 lakh to be imposed on anyone dumping waste in and around the lake.
In August 2017, the National Green Tribunal took suo motu cognisance of the regular fires in the lake and criticised civic bodies, including the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the Bangalore Development Authority and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board. The tribunal had asked the Karnataka government to submit an action plan detailing how it plans to clean and remove municipal solid waste from the Bellandur lake.