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Minor irrigation dept defies NGT order, refuses to remove pipeline from Varthur lake

Members of the monitoring committee inspecting the lake
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Members of the monitoring committee inspecting the lake

Highlights

Members of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) monitoring committee of Varthur and Bellandur, headed by Justice Santosh Hegde, visited the two lakes along with officials of the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) and the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB)

Members of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) monitoring committee of Varthur and Bellandur, headed by Justice Santosh Hegde, visited the two lakes along with officials of the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) and the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).

It has come to light from the visit that the minor irrigation department is reluctant to remove the illegal pipeline from Varthur lake despite the directions from the NGT.

In 2017, the department facilitated an illegal construction of a pipeline and a road on the lake. The pipeline was meant to pump treated water into tanks in Kolar. Now defunct, the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) that was the nodal authority of all water bodies in the State was kept out of the loop of this construction.

"The minor irrigation department does not want to remove the pipeline in spite of our repeated requests. They now maintain that the pipeline is helping the Kolar people so they can't take it out. But this would amount to an onslaught to the lake that has already been crippled," said Jagadish Reddy, member of Varthur Rising.

According to the original plan for the lake rejuvenation the pipeline should have been shifted to the periphery and, if not done, 10 acres of the lake will be lost.

Jagadish Reddy also told the panel that the streetlights and cameras meant to check the violations at the lake are not fully functional.

Major issues like the encroachment of the storm water drains (SWD), fish kill leading to foul stench, fencing, roads pose threat to the lakes.

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