- Bellandur, Bengaluru's 900-acre lake, wrecked by chemicals, sewage
- In February, water burst into flames, thick smoke filled sky
- Top green court orders action against polluting factories
But it was February's huge flames that leapt off the 900-acre lake for hours, covering the region in thick smoke that resulted in an emergency intervention today by the country's top environmental court.
The National Green Tribunal in Delhi has ordered an immediate and complete shutdown of all factories around the lake which is located in the south-east part of the city, has no sewage treatment plant despite its immense proportions, and is surrounded by high-rise apartments. Anyone found dumping waste in or around the lake will be fined 5 lakhs, the court said, suggesting that the state government deserves to be prosecuted for the fire that made international headlines in February and was caused after a pile of garbage was lit; the plants in and around the lake quickly caught fire.
Despite the recurring crises and anger among residents, the state government has failed to take any action to rescue the lake, suggesting that administering a solution is tough because multiple local agencies are involved.
Late last month, foreign firms including from the UK and Israel pitched technology to the Karnataka government that would help clean up the water. Local experts have also suggested clean up methods that have worked in other city lakes.