Bangalore, May 05, 2016: In an endeavor to march a step closer to restoring the lost glory of Bellandur Lake, Bengaluru Development and Town Planning Minister – Shri. KJ George today along with experts, activists, cleaning technology enterprises, parastatal agencies and other key stakeholders deliberated on the #SaveBellandur Action Plan document, which was presented to him by a citizens’ coalition and anchored by Namma Bengaluru Foundation on April 13, 2016.
The workshop, which was chaired by Shri KJ George, also saw private enterprises, citizen groups and academicians suggest workable solutions along with the feasibility of implementing the same to save and revive Bellandur Lake. Further, suggestions to empower key government bodies like BWSSB, KSPCB etc. were also discussed.
This workshop witnessed the presence of Shri Mahendra Jain – Additional Chief Secretary, UDD, Shri Lakshman – Chairman, KSPCB, Shri Yellappa Reddy – Former Secretary, Department of Ecology and Environment, Shri T Sham Bhat –Commissioner, BDA, Shri Manjunath Reddy – Mayor, Bengaluru, Shri Padmanabha Reddy – BJP leader, Shri Dinesh Gundu Rao – Congress leader, Shri Vijay Bhaskar – Chairman, BWSSB, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Shri P.N. Nayak – Engineer Member, BDA, MP Rajya Sabha, among others.
Raising concern over the overall health of Bellandur Lake and emphasizing the need to revive it, Mr. K.J George, Bengaluru Development and Town Planning Minister said, “Bellandur Lake’s state is a fallout of uncontrolled and rapid growth of Bengaluru. It is 100% polluted and there is an urgent need to revive it. Experts have suggested that there is no oxygen left in the lake and hence it is important for us to work on a comprehensive plan to save Bellandur Lake. I appreciate the interest shown by the citizens, experts and activists towards solving the Bellandur crisis. This is a good beginning and we need to keep up the momentum. An expert committee will be formed to look into the various solutions proposed and work toward resolving the Bellandur Lake crisis will start immediately.’
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation said, “Further to the #SaveBellandur Action Plan that we have proposed, this workshop has helped us get wider inputs from different stakeholders and ensure that we work collectively towards safeguarding the largest lake in Bengaluru for our future generations.”
Renowned academician Professor TV Ramachandra – Indian Institute of Science, who has been conducting comprehensive research on Bengaluru lakes for over 20 years now, said, “The solution to resolve Bellandur Lake issue has to be technically feasible, economically viable and environmentally sound. It is important that we free our lakes from all sorts of encroachers. We need to treat every drop of sewage and recover nutrients from the same. Rain water harvesting and removal of silt from the lake also needs to be undertaken. We need to ensure that no one touches the valley-zones of lake beds. Jakur lake model should be replicated not only for Bellandur, but for other contaminated lakes of Bengaluru. As an academician, I am worried that land, water and waste mafia has taken over Bengaluru. I urge you to ensure that our future generation enjoys the benefits of pollution-free lakes.”
Earlier this year, in a first of its kind people’s initiative to save the Bellandur Lake, Namma Bengaluru Foundation had brought together concerned citizens of Bengaluru, politicians, lake experts and activists all under one roof to chart a workable solutions action plan. The #SaveBellandur Action Plan lays down a series of action plans – mid-term and long-term – to rejuvenate Bellandur Lake with practical and viable actions over a reasonable timeline. The proposed solutions can also be used as a model to save other lakes of the city.
The #SaveBellandur Action Plan charts out step wise solutions to ensure that the lake not only survives but also thrives by 1) Desilting accumulated sludge of the last three decades, 2) Developing natural wet lands and 3) Diverting and treating incoming sewage with a provision for treated water being used as tertiary water supply source. The Plan outlines that the estimated cost of rejuvenating Bellandur Lake would be Rs 400 crores with an implementation period of about 3 years.