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Bengaluru lake foaming shows urban wetlands under threat: CSE

By Ians English

New Delhi, May 3: The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Sunday said that recent phenomenon of foaming of lake Varthur in east Bengaluru shows that the wetlands in the city as well as urban India are under a serious threat.

The foam is the result of the water in the lake having high content of ammonia and phosphate and very low dissolved oxygen.

Bengaluru toxic foam

"Essentially, this is caused by untreated sewage flowing into the lake," said Sushmita Sengupta, deputy programme manager with CSE's water team.

"Delhi-NCR and many other cities across the country face similar foaming in their rivers and other wetlands on a regular basis," an official release quoted her as saying.

She said the CSE believes that community participation is critical to managing of wetlands.

"Communities need to be involved in identifying wetlands which would be managed and protected while government bodies monitor and impose penalties on offenders including municipal bodies and industries."

CSE research shows that untreated sewage and industrial waste from much of the Bengaluru city flows into lake Varthur, leaving it extremely polluted, the release said.

Though the ministry of environment and forest and climate change has issued rules for conservation and management of wetlands, under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Wetlands (Management and Conservation) Rules, 2010, the discharge is not being monitored across water bodies throughout the country.

There is a plethora of acts and policies which indirectly talk about the protection and conservation of wetlands. But these wetland protection rules do not have teeth. Moreover, the wetland which is protected, is identified by the state government, CSE said.


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