Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding Chandrapura lake pollution, Karnataka, 10/10/2022
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In re : News item published on 21.11.2021 in the Indian Express titled “Lakes of Bengaluru : Industrial effluents, raw sewage; stinky tale of Chandrapura lake” dated 10/10/2022.
The NGT had taken cognizance of the matter on the basis of a media report showing damage to the Chandrapura lake and failure of statutory regulators to take remedial action. The media report mentions that the buffer zone of the lake has been encroached upon and waste is being dumped into the lake.
The report filed by the Chief Secretary showed the poor state of the lake. The report said that "out of the total 24.27 acres, nearly two acres of the lake in Chandapura town has been encroached by construction activities". One of the major pollutants of the lakes in the region the report said has been the mushrooming of Red Category industries (industries having pollution index score of 60 and above) in the Jigani Bommasandra industrial area and discharge of effluents into lakes in violation of the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) policy of the government. Under the ZLD water management system, no untreated water is supposed to be released into lakes.
The NGT said that from the report it has become clear that huge damage has been caused to the lake and such damage is clearly attributable to inaction of the state authorities. The court directed the state of Karnataka to pay compensation of Rs. 500 crores for the "significant loss of environmental services of the lakes". The amount must be utilized for restoration measures of the lake within six months as per directions and supervision of a Monitoring Committee. The committee will be headed by the Chairman, State Wetland Authority.