The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has refused to grant relief to auto industry, which had challenged the closure of industrial units in the catchment area of Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The lawyers representing the industry told the tribunal that the shutting down of industries, 15 kilometers away from the lake, was a knee-jerk reaction. In response, NGT told the lawyers that industrial work in the area was making it difficult for people to breathe. The green body also questioned the government over pollution in the lake, according to ANI.
NGT had directed authorities to shut down 76 polluting industrial units around the polluted Bellandur Lake. A bench of NGT headed by its Chairperson, Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the Bengaluru Deputy Commissioner and civic authorities in the city to disconnect power and water supply to these industrial units. The green body took notice of the issue after reports and pictures of a fire in a garbage mound near the Bengaluru lake appeared in February, according to an Indian Express report.
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The Tribunal has also directed the joint inspection team consisting of officials from the state pollution control board and officials from Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board to inspect all sewage treatment plants (STPs) installed by housing societies and residential complexes in the vicinity of the lake.
The tribunal had pulled up the local civic body and also banned the dumping of solid waste in or around the lake. NGT has ordered that any person caught dumping in the lake would be charged Rs 5 lakh environment compensation. NGT had previously also asked the Karnataka government as to why action should not be taken against it for negligence, reported the Indian Express.