New Delhi, Apr 19: The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed an immediate and complete shutdown of all industries around Bengaluru's Bellandur Lake where a mound of garbage was set on fire in February this year.
Slamming the local civic bodies for inaction, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also banned dumping of any kind of municipal solid waste around the lake and announced an environment compensation of Rs 5 lakh on anyone found dumping waste in and around the lake.
"All the industries located in the vicinity of Bellandur Lake and discharging effluent are hereby directed to be closed... "No industry is permitted to operate unless inspection by a joint inspection team is conducted and analysis of effluent is found to be within the permissible limits," the bench, which also comprised Justice R S Rathore, said. The green panel ordered the State Pollution Control Board to seal the industries which are violating the directions. The tribunal had yesterday taken objection to a legal opinion by the state government while interpreting its May 4, 2016 order that had increased the buffer zone of lakes from 30 metres to 75 metres in Bengaluru.
Earlier, the NGT had lashed out at the Karnataka government and its agencies responsible for maintenance of the Bellandur lake, asking them why they should not be prosecuted for negligence following the recent outbreak of fire in the waterbody. It had earlier issued notice to the Union Environment Ministry, the Karnataka government, Lake Authority of Bangalore, state pollution control board and Central Pollution Control Board in the case.
On February 20, the NGT had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports and photographs of the incident in which fire broke out in the Bengaluru lake. "It is reported that there were thick clouds of smoke which severely hit traffic and people living around the lake. It is also reported that usually a pile of garbage around the lake is set on fire and there was total panic.
"Undoubtedly, such emissions are bound to be have an adverse impact on environment, ecology and human health. It is a matter which requires serious investigation, remedial measures and restoration of the lake to its original wholesome status," it had said. Thick cloud of white smoke persisted in the air around Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru after the blaze in a garbage mound around it on February 16.