The Bellandur lake in Bengaluru once again caught fire on Friday. The plumes of the fire were so huge that it could be spotted even from kilometres away. The fire in the lake was seen almost a year after it was last observed, inviting ire from the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It was first spotted in the morning at around 10 am. After a few hours smaller plumes of smoke could be seen from a number of places, a local told The Hindu. As per her, it seemed like methane burst because of the pollution in the lake.Even as a fire tender was sent, it could not find the place from where the fire was rising. According to a fire department official, even as they would stay on banks as a standby, it would be difficult to reach the location of the fire which is in the middle of the wetland.
Last year in August too, the lake was spilling toxic foam in streets after a week of heavy rainfall. That time, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had assured that the problem would be sorted out in one or two years. On a number of occasions, residents had also complained of foul smell and pollution. “It is there, it will be solved within 1 or 2 years. The government is taking all necessary actions,” the CM was quoted as saying by ANI. The lake, which is one of the largest of the 262 lakes in Bengaluru, has spilt toxic foam on a number of occasions in recent times. Taking suo motu action, the National Green Tribunal in April had ordered the immediate shutdown of 76 polluting industries near the lake. The direction had come after a mound of garbage was set on fire causing massive pollution in the area in February 2017.
“What is this going on? How are you getting so much of foam? Why can’t you remove the factor which generates foam? There are traffic jams which further leads to air pollution. First you put your lakes on fire and now cause the traffic jam. You can’t do this. Look into this matter and resolve it,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar was quoted as saying by Indian Express in his reaction on this serious issue.